Reckitt Benckiser exceeds expectations

Reckitt Benckiser, the FMCG company that owns brands such as Cillit Bang, Lemsip and Dettol, has posted higher than expected sales on the back of increased marketing and media spend during the year.

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The company has also set out plans to increase investment this year as part of a new strategy to drive growth in emerging markets, and plans to reveal further details later today.

The business posted a 13% increase in total revenue to £9.5bn during the year, beating targets of 12% growth. Like for like growth increased 4% while operating profit was up 11% to £2.5bn during the year.

Former SSL brands Durex and Scholl, which RB acquired in 2010, “had a good first year” reporting like for like sales growth of 6%.

In the final quarter of the year, total revenue increased 8% to £2.4bn.

The company says its investment in marketing was higher during the year and media spend increased 9% to account for 10.4% of revenue.

Rakesh Kapoor, RB’s chief executive officer, who took over last year after Bart Becht’s surprise exit also outlined a number of NPD innovations planned for its ‘Power Brands’ such as Cillit Bang, Nurofen and Clearasil to support the company’s growth plans in 2012.

These include the launch of Cillit Bang All-in-1 Dish & Surface that it plans to sell exclusive via Facebook as part of its first move into social commerce, as revealed by Marketing Week.

Kapoor says in a statement: “Reckitt Benckiser delivered another strong year … growth was driven in particular by excellent growth in emerging markets, and growth in our Power Brands – Dettol, Nurofen, Mucinex, Strepsils, Gaviscon and Harpic.”

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