Reckitt boosted by emerging markets

CONSUMER goods giant Reckitt Benckiser yesterday reported a rise in profits fuelled by its performance in emerging markets, but warned that it faces obstacles to growth.

Reckitt, whose brands include Cillit Bang and Nurofen, said it was well positioned to achieve its 2011 targets of a 12 per cent rise in net revenue and a 10 per cent rise in net income growth.

Meanwhile third-quarter net profits rose nine per cent to £465m in the third quarter.

The figures have been buoyed by the purchase late last year of Durex condoms and Scholl sandal maker SSL, while the company said that the sales of household goods in emerging markets had also contributed.

But the company warned that its new version of its key Suboxone heroine substitute drug, within Reckitt Benckiser Pharmaceuticals (RBP), had gained just 44 per cent of its market.

“Total growth will slow. We will also have a one-off decline in revenue and profit at RBP,” said chief executive Rakesh Kapoor in a statement.

Former chief executive Bart Becht left in September, surprising investors with his decision to retire after leading the group since its creation in 1999 and making it one of the FTSE 100’s top performers.

The company’s shares fell almost 3.4 per cent yesterday, stuck below a peak experienced before Becht’s shock announcement.