Objectives: To determine the activity of oritavancin against methicillin-resistant staphylococci, vancomycin-resistant enterococci (VRE) and β-haemolytic streptococci recently isolated from acute bacterial skin and skin structure infections or bacteraemia in western Europe. Methods: Forty-one centres in Spain (8), Italy (9), Germany (8), France (8) and the UK (8) submitted 866 isolates [204 methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA), 177 methicillin-resistant coagulase-negative staphylococci (MRCoNS), 101 VRE, 193 Streptococcus agalactiae and 191 Streptococcus pyogenes] that were collected during the first 6 months of 2011. These were re-identified and susceptibilities to oritavancin and comparators were determined. Results: Oritavancin was very active against MRSA (MIC50/MIC90 0.03/0.06 mg/L), MRCoNS (0.06/0.12 mg/L), VRE (0.03/0.06 mg/L), S. agalactiae (0.03/0.06 mg/L) and S. pyogenes (0.06/0.25 mg/L). The highest oritavancin MIC observed was 0.25 mg/L (species were S. aureus, Staphylococcus epidermidis, Staphylococcus hominis, S. agalactiae, S. pyogenes and Enterococcus faecalis). Conclusions: These data from recently collected Gram-positive bacteria in western Europe confirm the potent in vitro activity of oritavancin against a wide range of resistant MRSA, MRCoNS and VRE isolates, including ones resistant to newer agents. © The Author 2012. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the British Society for Antimicrobial Chemotherapy. All rights reserved.