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Reckitt Benckiser 1Q Revenue Rose as Prices Were Hiked — Update

By Michael Susin, Ian Walker and Jaime Llinares Taboada

 

Reckitt Benckiser Group PLC said Friday that its first-quarter revenue rose 5.6% on a like-for-like basis as it increased prices, and that it expects like-for-like revenue growth for the year to be at the top end of its forecast range.

The consumer-goods company--which houses Dettol, Harpic and Durex among its brands--said quarterly revenue grew to 3.42 billion pounds ($4.26 billion) as it raised prices by 5.3%, while volumes grew 0.3%.

Revenue was forecast at GBP3.31 billion, according to a company-provided consensus. Like-for-like sales consensus forecast was 1.5%.

Sales were boosted by the health and nutrition units, which grew 20.6% and 20.4%, respectively. Hygiene sales grew 9%.

The FTSE 100-listed company said it expects adjusted operating margins to be in line with both the prior year and current market expectations while continuing to invest in the long-term growth of its brands. Back in February, Reckitt had said it was targeting margin growth in 2022 from its base of 22.9%.

Like-for-like net revenue growth guidance was reiterated at 1%-4%.

"As we look to the balance of the year, the operating environment remains highly unpredictable. We are well placed to address these market dynamics through the strength of our brands, our favorable product mix, our productivity program and the responsible pricing initiatives already undertaken, with scope to take further actions," Chief Executive Laxman Narasimhan said.

Reckitt said that inflation on the cost of goods has increased from low teens to high teens based on current commodity pricing. In a call with analysts, Chief Financial Officer Jeff Carr said that around two thirds of the company's cost of goods are hedged for 2022, leaving some exposure to further price increases.

In addition, Mr. Carr said that margins will be higher in the second half than in the first half as some price increases for Reckitt's products are yet to kick in.

Shares at 0900 GMT were up 0.5% at 6,236 pence.

 

Write to Michael Susin at michael.susin@wsj.com, Ian Walker at ian.walker@wsj.com and Jaime Llinares Taboada at jaime.llinares@wsj.com

 

(END) Dow Jones Newswires

April 29, 2022 05:24 ET (09:24 GMT)

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