Sales by region showed the following breakdown: Accounting for 42% of sales, Europe remains our largest sales market, followed by Asia (26%), North America (17%) and Latin America (12%).
At EUR 3,747 million, sales in Europe increased by 11%. Within Europe, Germany is the top sales country, followed by France and Italy. Sales in Germany grew by 10% in 2010 to EUR 779 million.
Within the Pharmaceuticals business sector, France is our largest European market, followed by Germany and Italy. Whereas pharmaceutical sales in Italy increased and stagnated in Germany, we registered a decline in France.
Merck Group | Sales by region
With sales of EUR 2,305 million, Asia is our second largest region and is increasingly gaining in importance, growing by 37% in 2010. In Asia, Taiwan is the leading country by sales for the Merck Group. Sales there increased by 75% to EUR 589 million following a weak 2009, mainly as a result of the Liquid Crystals business. The Chemicals business was responsible for 94% of sales in Taiwan, with the Liquid Crystals business accounting for the largest share.
Our second-largest market in Asia is Japan, where we posted a 57% increase in sales to EUR 486 million. The Pharmaceuticals business sector accounts for about 40% and the Chemicals business sector for around 60% of sales. The sales growth rates achieved by Pharmaceuticals and Chemicals varied, amounting to 39% and 71%, respectively.
South Korea is our third-largest Asian market. Sales increased here by 3.9% to EUR 360 million. The focus is on the Chemicals business, which accounted for 89% of sales.
Our declared growth market of China currently ranks fourth within Asia. We achieved a 26% increase in sales in this market to EUR 240 million. Sales in China are about evenly divided between our Pharmaceuticals and Chemicals business sectors. In India, which follows China in our sales ranking, we achieved sales growth of 38% to EUR 156 million. Pharmaceuticals accounted for 27% and Chemicals for 73% of sales.
Merck expanded sales in North America to EUR 1,530 million in 2010. This represents growth of 31%. At EUR 1,403 million (+31%), more than 90% of sales in this region are generated in the United States. The Pharmaceuticals business sector accounts for around 70% and the Chemicals business sector for around 30% of sales in the United States. This ratio will continue to shift in favor of Chemicals owing to the acquisition of Millipore in mid-2010.
In Latin America, Brazil is by far our largest market, followed by Mexico. Brazil is one of our declared growth markets besides India and China. In 2010, we increased our sales in Brazil by 37% to EUR 359 million. Around 80% of sales there were generated by the Pharmaceuticals business sector.