SSL International

SSL International

healthcare products. Its most well-known brands are Durex and Scholl, other significant brands are Syndol, Meltus, Sauber, Woodwards and Mister Baby.

The company has a commercial presence in over thirty countries and manufacturing plants in the United Kingdom, Channel Islands, Spain, China, India and Thailand.


SSL was formed in 1999 by two sets of mergers. Seton Healthcare and Scholl merged in July 1998 to create Seton Scholl Healthcare, then the London International Group merged with Seton Scholl in May 1999 to form SSL International. Many consider Stuart Wallis, the chairman of Scholl since 1996 and the first chairman of SSL, to have been the main planner and dynamic behind this brand consolidation. Wallis, then-CEO Iain Cater, and other directors left the company in 2001. Brian Buchan of Procter & Gamble became CEO, he resigned in April 2004. The current chief executive is Garry Watts, formerly the company's Group Finance Director, with Gerald Corbett the non-executive chairman.

From 2002 to 2004 the company sold-off its medical and industrial products to focus on its two main brands and OTC products as a "strategic repositioning". The first major diversement was of OTC brands, Thornton & Ross Limited acquiring twenty-one products in March 2002. Marigold Industrial Gloves was sold to Comasec SAS in November 2003. The wound management products were sold to Medlock Medical Limited (Apax Partners) in March 2004. Regent Infection Control (Biogel surgical gloves and Hibi antiseptics (acquired in 2000 from AstraZeneca)), previously seen as a key SSL business, was sold to Regent Medical Limited (also Apax Partners) in May 2004, this was the largest sale at around £173 million. The final sale was of the minor Silipos business to Langer Inc and of SSL's continence care business to Coloplast A/S in October 2003. There were a number of other smaller sales.

SSL in 2007

Since 2004 SSL has enjoyed considerable success as a consumer-focussed company. In the financial year ending 31 March 2007, SSL reported sales of £480 million representing growth of 8.4% compared to the previous year. Profit in the same period increased by 18.9% and earnings per share by 33.6%. SSL also completed the acquisition of the remaining 50% of its Chinese Joint Venture which has since been successfully integrated into SSL's global operations.

In November 2007, SSL again reported strong progress in the first half of the 2007/08 financial year with sales ahead by 10.1% and operating profit by 14.2%.

On 8th November 2007, SSL announced the acquisition of the Orthaheel business, including the Orthaheel, Orthastyle, Vasyli and Vas brands. This business is based around a range of orthotic insoles designed and marketed by podiatrist, Phillip Vasyli. The products are designed to correct foot alignment and provide cushioning and support to the foot.

Whilst the name SSL was dervied from the names of the three original merged companies it has now come to represent "Successful" "Socially-responsible" and "Lively" - an expression of the operating culture within the organisation.

External links

* [ Official site]
* [ Durex subsidiary site]
* [ Scholl subsidiary site]

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