Reckitt lifted by emerging market boost

EMERGING market growth offset weaker European sales to allow consumer goods giant Reckitt Benckiser to hike its interim dividend by ten per cent yesterday.

Total like-for-like sales at the group, which makes Cillit Bang cleaners, Airwick air fresheners and Dettol disinfectant, rose by five per cent in the first half.

However, European sales dropped one per cent, with Vanish fabric cleaners among the products performing badly.

In the six months to 30 June the Anglo-Dutch group reported a 14 per cent jump in net revenues to £4.6bn.

Pre-tax profit rose from £971m to £1.04bn. The interim dividend was increased by 10 per cent to 55p per share.

Presenting his final set of interim results before standing down as chief executive in September, Bart Becht said: “Growth in the base business was driven in particular by an excellent result in developing markets, and was boosted by innovations.”