Monday 22 January 2018

Flu 'season' sales boost for Nurofen maker

Matthew Boyle

Reckitt Benckiser, the British maker of Durex condoms and Nurofen painkillers, said sales will rise at the upper end of its target this year after second-quarter revenue topped analysts' estimates, driven by growth in cold and flu remedies.

Non-pharmaceutical revenue will advance at the upper end of the 5pc to 6pc guidance previously disclosed. Revenue on that basis, which excludes the effect of currency fluctuations, rose 6pc in the period, faster than the 5.2pc anticipated by analysts.

Reckitt Benckiser is looking to emerging markets such as Russia, China and the Middle East to compensate for more difficult conditions in Europe and North America, which make up about half of total revenue.

Chief financial officer Adrian Hennah said the health unit's growth pace is not expected to continue.

Sales in the quarter were driven by a 16pc increase in the health business. The company benefited from "a more sustained flu season in the US", it said.

Over the past year, the company has made several deals to expand that business into new product categories, including vitamins, and further into China and Latin America.

Like-for-like revenue rose 3pc in Europe and North America (reported as a unit), helped by sales of Mucinex cold remedies and Lysol disinfectants.

Irish Independent

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