Dettol launches help drive Reckitt past £2bn quarterly revenue

Dettol: strong performing Reckitt brand
Dettol: strong performing Reckitt brand

Reckitt Benkiser has posted strong growth in its third quarter on the back of new Dettol launches, with net revenue up 10.7% year on year to £2.1bn, though European revenue was down 2% to £843m.

Sales grew by 10% in America and Australia to £593m, although the rise was just 2% at constant exchange rates. European revenue was unchanged at constant exchange rates.

Growth was driven by a 31% increase in revenue in emerging markets to £481m (18% at constant exchange rates) and 39% growth in the company's pharmaceutical division to £195m (33% at constant exchange rates).

Pre-tax profits rose 21% to £568m. Total marketing spend was higher and pure media spend equated to 9.8% of net revenue.

The group also improved its gross margin from 59.4% to 60.2%.

Total household and health and personal care grew by 4% at constant exchange rates, with Dettol No Touch Hand Soap System a strong performer across the board, and Veet, Gaviscon and Nurofen also performing well.

In emerging markets, the Dettol personal care range, Strepsils, Gaviscon, Vanish, Harpic, Veja and Veet brands were all singled-out as strong performers. Launches of Airwick Aqua Mist and Mortein automatic and aerosol pest control sprays also performed well.

Fabric care declined by 1% at constant exchange rates, due to increased competition for Vanish and "weakness" in water softeners and laundry.

Bart Becht, chief executive officer, said: "Reckitt Benckiser achieved strong results for the first nine months, with net revenue growth of +6% and net income growth of +16%, both at constant exchange."

Becht said performance was driven by "An excellent performance in Developing Markets and the success of Powerbrand innovations such as the Lysol / Dettol No Touch Hand Soap System."

Reckitt launched a range of Dettol antibacterial sprays in the run-up to the cold and flu season last year.

The company was also hit with a £10.2m fine last month by the Office of Fair Trading for "abuse of dominance" in its marketing of Gaviscon Advance Liquid for NHS prescriptions.

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