The household goods maker Reckitt Benckiser, which is a major employer in Hull, today cut its full-year sales forecast.
The Durex condom and Lysol disinfectant maker said it now expected full-year like-for-like sales growth to range from flat to up 2 per cent, down from its previous target of 2 per cent to 3 per cent.
Reported sales rose 5.3 per cent in the third quarter to £3.29 billion ($4.27 billion). The company employs more than 1,000 people at its Hull operations.
Commenting on these results, Laxman Narasimhan, chief executive, said: "RB's performance in Q3 was disappointing. We delivered another quarter of consistent growth in hygiene home.
"Our health business, despite good market growth and stable consumer offtake, delivered a weak net revenue performance. This was primarily due to issues in the US and China. In the US, we saw more cautious retailer seasonal purchasing patterns. In China, IFCN continues to face challenging market conditions. This performance is a reflection of an extended period of significant change and disruption in the company. I am prioritising execution and operational performance as a matter of urgency. I have made it clear within the organisation that any activities that detract focus and attention from improving our operational performance, be paused.
"I have lowered our revenue outlook for the full year 2019 to reflect the combination of a weak health performance in Q3 and inherent seasonal uncertainty in Q4. We expect a modest margin decline in 2019 as we will continue our investment in the brands and the business to build RB for the long term. Stepping back from current trading, I see confirmation of the reasons why I joined RB: we play in high-growth categories, with strong, market-leading brands, anchored in purpose; we have strong capabilities in innovation and e-commerce and we have an organisation full of owners who act with speed and agility.
"The issues I have seen facing the business are clear and addressable. I am confident we can restore RB to the levels of performance that it is capable of achieving, and build a purpose-driven, responsible company. Our focus will be on: restoring performance credibility, bringing simplification and focus, driving commercial execution, unleashing our people and delivering a strong financial model. "
"I firmly believe that we have significant potential, with an outstanding set of brands in structural growth categories. I look forward to providing a more detailed update on the business, and our plans to restore long-term sustainable performance, in February with our FY19 results."