Church & Dwight Inc. was one firm that saw its corporate sales climb during 2020, but its rubber product sales dipped a bit. The Princeton, N.J.-based firm markets a number of brands that are well-known in the U.S. Its "power brands" include such names as Arm & Hammer, Orajel, OxiClean and many others. These products included a handful that were among those in high demand during the early days of the pandemic, leading to sales gains.
Overall sales for Church & Dwight climbed 12 percent, but one of its other power brands—Trojan condoms—saw sales dip along with the rest of the condom industry. While Trojan remains the No. 1 U.S. brand, the company noted in its annual report that condom usage has declined for a number of reasons, such as a lower population of 18 to 24 year olds, alternate birth control options, less fear of HIV and decreased need due to the social distancing requirements put in place because of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Global Non-Tire ranking
Medical firms also made gains on the global stage, with a number seeing their non-tire rubber products revenues soar during 2020.
For example, West Pharmaceutical saw estimated rubber products sales jump 17.4 percent to $1.5 billion, allowing it to move up from No. 20 to No. 16 in the rankings.
Other medical firms with significant gains in 2020 were Malaysia's Top Glove Corp., which jumped 10 spots to No. 12 with 2020 sales of $1.7 billion, 47 percent higher than the prior year; Ansell, with global rubber goods sales up 7.6 percent to $1.53 billion; and Supermax Corp., which saw sales soar 35 percent to $501.4 million, good enough for No. 43.
Looking at the top half of the rankings, just eight of the top 25 saw sales growth in 2020.
Freudenberg took the No. 1 spot with an estimated $6.03 billion in rubber product sales, with Conti dropping to No. 2 at $5.57 billion.
The rest of the top five were the same, with Hutchinson S.A. third at $4.32 billion; Sumitomo Riko Co. Ltd. No. 4 at $3.54 billion; and Bridgestone No. 5 at $3.37 billion.
Rounding out the top 10 were Parker-Hannifin, the top ranked U.S.-based firm, at No. 6 with $3.29 billion; Japan's NOK, up two spots to No. 7, at $2.97 billion; Gates No. 8 at $2.79 billion; Trelleborg No. 9 at $2.61 billion; and condom maker Reckitt Benckiser Group P.L.C., marketer of the Durex brand, climbing one spot to join the top 10 at $2.33 billion.
As is true in most years, mergers and acquisitions made a difference this year and will do so in the years to come, both in the North American and Global Non-Tire rankings.
Besides the gains Parker made by purchasing Lord and Goodyear's just-completed purchase of Cooper Tire, other deals of note included:
- Bridgestone's $3.4 billion sale of its Firestone Building Products business, one of the top rubber roofing businesses;
- Cooper Standard Automotive Inc.'s divestment of its European rubber fluid transfer and specialty sealing business to Mutares S.E. & Co.;
- Italy's Manuli Rubber Industries, a newcomer to the Global Non-Tire Top 50 ranking, boosted by its purchase of Australia's Ryco Hydraulics, a deal that increased its 2020 revenues by $101.3 million; and
- Eaton's January 2020 agreement to sell its hydraulics business to Danfoss A/S for $3.3 billion, a transaction that has yet to close.