Sluggish Western economies harm Reckitt Benckiser’s results

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SALES growth at consumer goods maker Reckitt Benckiser slowed more sharply than expected in the third quarter, hit by sluggish Western economies and cooling emerging markets.

The maker of Mucinex cold remedies, Durex condoms and Dettol cleaners said it now expected full-year revenue growth at the low end of its four to five per cent target range, although profit margins were still forecast to rise.

“Growth has not yet returned to developed markets and emerging markets in aggregate are weaker,” Chief executive Rakesh Kapoor said, citing places such as Thailand, Indonesia, India and Brazil, where sales of home and personal care products were sidelined as retailers focused on selling beer and soft drinks for the 2014 World Cup.

Reckitt employs around 1,200 people at its operations in Hull.