Disinfectant demand boosts Reckitt Benckiser's quarterly sales

Credit: REUTERS/Stephen Hird

Consumer products maker Reckitt Benckiser Plc reported better-than-expected quarterly results on Tuesday, as cautious customers stocked up on Lysol and Dettol disinfectants and Mucinex cough syrup during the coronavirus pandemic.

Adds details on quarterly performance, share performance

July 28 (Reuters) - Consumer products maker Reckitt Benckiser Plc RB.L reported better-than-expected quarterly results on Tuesday, as cautious customers stocked up on Lysol and Dettol disinfectants and Mucinex cough syrup during the coronavirus pandemic.

Like-for-like sales for the three months ended June 30 rose 10.5%, handily beating company-provided estimates of 7.8%.

The Slough-based company also said it expects high-single-digit underlying revenue performance in 2020 compared with the mid-single-digit sales growth initially expected.

The pandemic has relieved pressure on a business that has struggled to cope with intense competition in the health and hygiene space.

People are increasingly cleaning their homes and washing their hands to protect themselves from the coronavirus, a trend which Reckitt Benckiser CEO Laxman Narasimhan expects to continue even when people spend less time indoors.

Customers are also shopping more online, helping Reckitt's e-commerce sales surge more than 60% in the first half of the year, and now accounting about 12% the group's net revenue.

Adjusted earnings for the half-year ended June came in at 166.5 pence, beating estimates of 154.8 pence. Revenue came in at 6.91 billion pounds, above forecasts of 6.81 billion pounds.

The company also announced plans to invest an additional 100 million pounds over the next two years to speed up growth of its disinfectant brands.

The company's strong performance has given a fillip to Reckitt's shares, pushing them up by more than a quarter this year, compared with the FTSE 100's .FTSE 19% drop.

(Reporting by Siddharth Cavale in Bangalore; Editing by Sherry Jacob-Phillips)

The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Nasdaq, Inc.

Reuters

Reuters, the news and media division of Thomson Reuters, is the world’s largest international multimedia news provider reaching more than one billion people every day. Reuters provides trusted business, financial, national, and international news to professionals via Thomson Reuters desktops, the world's media organizations, and directly to consumers at Reuters.com and via Reuters TV.

Learn More