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Reckitt Benckiser Swung to 2021 Loss; Sees 2022 Like-For-Like Growth Ahead of Expectations

   By Michael Susin 
 

Reckitt Benckiser Group PLC on Thursday reported a swing to pretax loss for 2021 due to higher operating loss, despite revenue on a like-for-like basis being ahead of expectations.

The consumer-goods company--which houses Dettol, Harpic and Durex among its brands--posted a pretax loss of 260 million pounds ($353.2 million) for the year ended Dec. 31, compared with a profit of GBP1.87 billion in the year-earlier period.

Adjusted operating profit--one of the company's preferred metrics which strips out exceptional and other one-off items--fell to GBP2.88 billion compared with GBP3.30 billion in 2021.

Excluding the infant formula and child nutrition business in China--which the company agreed to sell to Primavera Capital in June for $2.2 billion and completed on Sept. 9--adjusted operating profit was GBP2.94 billion compared with a consensus of GBP2.94 billion taken from the company's website.

Revenue came in at GBP13.23 billion, down from GBP13.99 billion the prior year, led by hygiene and a recovery in Health. A consensus estimate taken from the company's website had forecast Reckitt's revenue at GBP13.18 billion, including IFCN China.

The company's net revenue on a like-for-like basis rose 3.5%, above the company's guidance of between 1% and 3%.

Excluding IFCN China, revenue was GBP12.85 billion compared with a forecast of GBP12.80 billion.

For the year ahead the company has targeted like-for-like net revenue growth of between 1% to 4%.

"We are therefore targeting both growth in like-for-like net revenue and an increase in adjusted operating margin in 2022, despite an unprecedented inflationary environment and ongoing uncertainties created by Covid-19", Chief Executive Officer Laxman Narasimhan said.

The board declared an interim dividend of 174.6 pence, the same amount as the previous year.

 

Write to Michael Susin at michael.susin@wsj.com

 

(END) Dow Jones Newswires

February 17, 2022 02:48 ET (07:48 GMT)

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