Belfast Telegraph

Reckitt Benckiser cites macroeconomic conditions amid flat first quarter sales

Consumer goods giant Reckitt Benckiser has flagged challenging macroeconomic conditions as it posted flat sales for the first quarter.

The company behind Durex and Dettol saw like-for-like sales growth flatline in the first three months of the year, although total revenue grew 15% to £2.64 billion when including the impact of currency fluctuations.

Reckitt pointed to weaker growth in Germany, Italy and South Korea, but added that it still expects to notch up a 3% increase in full-year like-for-like sales.

Boss Rakesh Kapoor said: "Our first quarter results are in line with expectations as macro conditions remain challenging.

"Against this backdrop, our underlying business remains strong.

"We delivered continued outperformance in consumer health and good growth in DvM, offset by previously flagged headwinds, which will persist during the first half."

Earlier this month, Reckitt said it is exploring "all options", including a sale, for its food business, which includes French's mustard and Frank's Red Hot sauce.

Reckitt added that its 17.9 billion US dollar (£14.2 billion) deal to acquire US baby formula maker Mead Johnson is on track to complete by the end of the third quarter.