RB owns brands such as Dettol, Nurofen, Strepsils and Gaviscon.
Jane Imrie

‘Slow start’ to 2019 for health consumer goods giant RB

Health and hygiene consumer goods giant Reckitt Benckiser (RB) has reported a ‘slow start’ to the year with overall like-for-like growth at 1 per cent.

The multinational firm, which owns brands such as Dettol, Nurofen, Strepsils and Gaviscon, has attributed the results to an “unusually weak cold and flu season”.

Performance in the company’s health division was static, with infant and nutrition (IFCN) sales in the US and China offset by a decline in over-the-counter health relief (OTC) sales.

RB’s hygiene division fared better with a growth of 3 per cent overall. This was bolstered by performance in the US, which was up by 8 per cent. Europe remained flat, which the firm says is due to a focus on innovation and selective pricing in a “tough trading environment”.

Chief executive officer Rakesh Kapoor commented: “As expected, Q1 saw a slow start to the year, especially in OTC. We expect to see improving growth in the remainder of the year, particularly in H2.

“Restoring outperformance in our Health business unit remains our top priority as we target innovation-led growth, invest and outperform in e-channels, invest behind the equities of our brands, and build a more resilient business.”

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