Pandemic power; Reckitt Benckiser reports best ever growth thanks to disinfectant surge

Pandemic power; Reckitt Benckiser reports best ever growth thanks to disinfectant surge

THE WHAT? Reckitt Benckiser (RB) has announced a sales rise of 11.8 percent last year, the strongest in its history thanks to the increased demand for disinfectant in the wake of COVID-19, according to a report by the Financial Times. 

THE DETAILS Hygiene sales grew a fifth as the pandemic took hold, with RB introducing Dettol and Lysol to 41 new markets in a bid to capitalize on the demand. 

Immunity supplement brand Airborne also more than doubled sales. 

THE WHY? As the pandemic forced consumers to bolster their hygiene habits, sales of disinfectants have risen exponentially across the board. However, RB has stated it expects the strong growth to tail off, with a predicted sales growth of 0-2 percent in 2021. 

The company also announced portfolio changes in a bid to bolster growth after the highs of the pandemic, with its Chinese baby formula division up for review following falling revenues since it was acquired from Mead Johnson four years ago. 

RB will also sell Scholl footcare while purchasing the Biofreeze pain relief brand. 

CEO Laxman Narasimhan said, “We expect 2021 to be a year of further strategic progress and we remain confident that we will meet our medium-term targets.”

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