Reckitt misses fourth quarter forecasts

City A.M. Reporter
Consumer goods group Reckitt Benckiser said it is aiming for above industry growth in 2011 despite rising input costs and tough economies after fourth quarter earnings on Wednesday came below forecasts.

The group, which makes Finish dishwash products, Cillit Bang cleaners and Nurofen painkillers expects sales to rise four per cent this year and operating profit growth above that from its businesses excluding its newly-acquired SSL but including its pharmaceuticals unit.

The company reported fourth-quarter earnings showing a rise of 14 per cent to 69.0 pence per share, below a company-compiled consensus of 73.7p,

Reckitt set its targets this year to include its drugs arm whose main revenue generator is heroin substitute Suboxone. It lost its exclusive licence for this in October 2009 and expects generic competition to eventually emerge and hit profit.