Business activity and strategy
The Laundry & Home Care business unit is globally active in the laundry and home care Branded Consumer Goods business. The Laundry Care business includes not only heavy-duty and specialty detergents but also fabric softeners, laundry performance enhancers, and other fabric care products.The product portfolio of our Home Care business encompasses hand and automatic dishwashing products, cleaners for bathroom and WC applications, and household, glass and specialty cleaners. We also offer air fresheners and insecticides for household applications in selected regions.
Our aim is to continue generating profitable growth through expansion of our continuing operations.We therefore intend to pursue both sustainable market share gains and further margin improvements. Based on our leading positions in the profitable mature markets of Western Europe and North America, we plan to further expand the share of sales from emerging markets, particularly Eastern Europe, Africa/Middle East and Latin America. We intend to leverage the dynamics of these regions in order to accelerate the overall growth of our Laundry & Home Care business unit. Our goal is to further increase our market share in the emerging markets, and raise profitability to the higher level of the mature markets.
Strong brands and innovations that offer added value for consumers provide the basis for our strategy of profitable growth. Successful product launches again contributed substantially to our positive business performance in the year under review. In 2013, we managed to increase our innovation rate1 to 45 percent.
Through central and efficient management of our innovation process and deepened insights into the purchasing habits of consumers, we are able to quickly identify and respond to consumer trends, and effectively convert these into new products. By prioritizing categories and centrally steering our global brand portfolio, we are able to direct our investments toward those segments that offer growth and profitability, enabling us to generate above-average growth with our most important brands and market segments.
In 2013, we generated 85 percent of our sales with our top 10 brand clusters. A brand cluster comprises individual global and local brands that share a common brand positioning internationally. By adopting this approach, we are able to generate synergies in our marketing mix.
Percentage share of sales generated with new products launched onto the market within the last three years.