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SSL to open condom factory in Qingdao

British healthcare products maker SSL International Plc will open a factory in Qingdao, Shandong Province, today to serve its growing business in China and the world.

SSL, which makes Durex condoms, also plans to expand its foot-care and footwear brand Scholl in China after achieving satisfactory sales in Shanghai.

SSL has invested 20 million pounds (US$32 million) in the two-story plant that covers 40,000 square meters.

It will be its largest condom manufacturing base in the world, with annual production of 864 million units and 620 tons of lubricant.

The company said the factory will account for 40 percent of its global output.

"Sustainable business growth in China ensures us of its incredible potential. We have led the market, taking over 10 percent of the market share. But we target a market share of nearly 50 percent. The new factory promises more future development," said Garry Watts, chief executive of SSL.

The Scholl brand contributed 40 percent to its business globally but the foot-care business in China is still fledging. Watts said the company will beef up efforts to develop the foot-care market in China and establish the Scholl brand.

SSL International chalked up sales of 240 million yuan last year, up 30 percent from a year earlier.


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