Reckitt Benckiser brands defy recession

RECKITT Benckiser, which makes products including Nurofen, saw profits jump by 23 per cent last year despite the recession.

The company said 2009 had been a good year and predicted growth in 2010.

Reckitt’s drug Suboxone – a heroin substitute – accounted for 16 per cent of the profits.

In the year to 31 December, operating profits jumped 23 per cent to £1.89bn – a 12 per cent increase at constant exchange rates.

The final dividend jumped 19 per cent to 57p a share, bringing the total dividend for last year to 100p – 25 per cent more than 2008.

The group, which also makes Finish dishwash products and Cillit Bang cleaners reported fourth-quarter net profit of £448m pounds compared with a consensus forecast of £447m.

Reckitt lost its exclusive licence in early October for its Suboxone heroin substitute drug and will face competition form other makers.