Strong performance by listed health and hygiene business

Hull-based health, hygiene and home produce company Reckitt Benckiser Group (RB) has recorded net revenues of £6.9m (2019: £6.2m) in half year 2020 results.

Latest pre-tax profits for RB were £1.4m, compared to £1.3m in 2019.

The business says its adjusted operating profits were up 15% on a reported basis, at £1.7m (2019: £1.5m). Reported operating profit for the six months ended 30 June 2020 was £1.6m (H1 2019: £1.4m).

RB’s update adds its extensive portfolio of hygiene products has put it in a strong position to respond to the pandemic.

It notes: “After a strong first half, we now expect our net revenue, margin and earnings performance to be better than our expectations in February and April (Q1), notwithstanding a cautious outlook for the balance of 2020 and an uncertain macro-economic environment.

“Our underlying revenue performance (pre-COVID-19) has been ahead of our early expectations for the year and overall, including favourable tailwinds from COVID-19, we now expect high single digit growth for the year as a whole.”

Laxman Narasimhan, chief executive officer, said: “The world has changed beyond recognition in 2020. COVID-19 is likely to be with us for the foreseeable future and, as a society, we are embedding new hygiene practices to protect our way of life. 

“We have the largest portfolio of surface disinfectant brands, including Dettol, Lysol and Sagrotan.

“Our supply chain has withstood the challenge of unprecedented demand, demonstrating agility and flexibility, albeit with additional costs and investments.

“Our Hygiene and base Health businesses have both performed well, with strong volume growth in challenging circumstances.

“Overall, our leadership in e-commerce has helped deliver very strong sales growth of over 60 per cent, with e-commerce sales now estimated to account for 12 per cent of first half group net revenue.

“Building on the strengths of our brand portfolio, we’ve also created a new professional service business from a standing start. Since March we have signed new agreements with Hilton, Avis, and Delta Airlines, among others, to help keep their customers safe and protected.”