Cough and cold season boosts Reckitt figures

Kasmira Jefford
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A HEAVY flu and cold season in the US caused misery for many people but helped Strepsils-maker Reckitt Benckiser yesterday report a healthy lift in fourth quarter sales.

Reckitt said sales in Europe and North America grew three per cent after “higher incidences of cold and flu” had boosted demand for products such as Mucinex decongestant.

Total annual revenues rose five per cent on a like-for-like basis, excluding non-core pharmaceuticals, to £9.6bn.

Chief executive Rakesh Kapoor said this year the group would target revenue growth of between five and six per cent, including acquisitions and disposals announced to date.

Reckitt has also been shifting its focus to the fast-growing health and hygiene sector, with brands such as Durex condoms and Dettol disinfectant, which it said will account for 72 per cent of net revenue by 2015 – up from 68 per cent today.

It is also targeting emerging markets and plans for half of net revenue in its core business to come from developing markets by 2015.