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Durex condoms are selling like hot cakes in Latin America and China

Durex condoms
AP Images/Max Morse
Emerging market money-maker.
By Roberto A. Ferdman
Published Last updated This article is more than 2 years old.

The numbers: Solid. Reckitt Benckiser, the maker of Durex condoms and Nurofen painkillers, reported a third quarter net revenue of $2.5 billion, up 5% from the same period last year, and well above the 4.7% increase expected by analysts. The company now expects full-year growth to come in above 6%. Shares are up more than 5% on the news.

The takeaway: A focus on building its health and hygiene business in emerging markets is paying off. Net revenue in the company’s fastest growing region, Latin America, Asia Pacific and China, jumped 7% from the same period last year, and full year revenue growth for the region is now in the double digits. Sales in China, where the condom market has been growing fast and Durex already enjoys a roughly 30% market share, have been particularly strong.

What’s interesting: Reckitt Benckiser is looking to up its influence in the sexual health market. Strong sales of Durex condoms, and the success of the recently launched innovations, including “Real Feel” and “Durex Embrace” pleasure gels, are “helping the brand transform as a sexual wellbeing brand,” the company said in a statement. Revenue from the company’s global condom brand helped buoy particular strong growth in Reckitt’s health goods business—27% over the same period last year.

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