eckitt reported an increase in sales stimulated by a “very strong” demand for disinfectant despite a decline in the performance of its health branch.
The consumer goods giant, maker of Dettol and Lysol, said in a business update on Wednesday that like-for-like first quarter revenue rose 4.1%. Hygiene product sales jumped 28.5%, representing 47% of net sales for the period and driven in particular by demand for Lysol in North America.
Reckitt was recently announced as the official hygiene partner for the COP26 climate summit in Glasgow this fall.
But the healthcare division’s sales on a like-for-like basis were down 13% from the first quarter of 2020, which Reckitt bosses attribute to manic stockpiling of its Lemsip, Nurofen and other products around the same time. ‘last year – and weak demand for cold and flu products due to lockdowns, which have seen infections plummet around the world.
The Slough-based company said “demand for cold and flu relief products [were] impacted by an unusually weak season, “but added that the division is helped by double-digit sales growth of Durex” driven by the easing of social restrictions “in China.
Nutrition sales were down 7.4% compared to the same period a year earlier on a like-for-like basis. The company said the strategic review of its infant formula business in China “is transforming well” and that it will update markets “where appropriate.”
Total net sales were £ 3.5 billion, down 1.1% on a reported basis from the same period last year, which Reckitt attributed to the effects of exchange.
The group said it continued “to expect mid-term revenue growth over the medium term.”
Managing Director Laxman Narasimhan said the results were “two-year growth of over 17% as we cancel the March 2020 pantry load” and his team “are closely monitoring changes in behavior consumers to understand supply and demand trends. ” sectors as countries emerge from Covid restrictions.
He added that the bosses “expect the current difficult market conditions for our cold and flu relief products to improve over time.”
Laura Hoy, equity analyst at Hargreaves Lansdown, said: “Considering the fact that Covid-linked pantry storage started around the same time last year, any growth is impressive. Compared to levels from 2019, revenues are up more than 17%. ”
Shares fell 1.4%, or 92p, to 6494p on Wednesday morning.