Strong demand for consumer health products boosts Reckitt Benckiser

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RECKITT BENCKISER, the maker of Durex condoms, Nurofen tablets and Finish detergent, raised its full-year sales outloo​k​ after reporting better than expected third-quarter sales helped by strong demand for consumer health products.​ ​

Reckitt said like-for-like sales rose ​seven​ per​ ​cent, beating analysts’ expectations of a rise of 5.2 per​ ​cent.​

As part of its future investment, Reckitt ​has submitted plans for a £100m Centre for Scientific Excellence ​in Hull that it said ​will safeguard jobs for the existing 1,200 employees at its Hull operations and create up to 100 new roles.​​

A planning application was submitted to Hull City Council last month and work is under way to prepare the site. It is forecast to be up and running in 2018.

​Reckitt said net revenue rose to £2.2bn​, just short of estimates of £2.21bn.

The ​firm is targeting annual like-for-like sales growth of ​five​ per​ ​cent, up from an earlier forecast of ​four to five​ per​ ​cent.​

Analysts at Liberum said in a note: “Reckitt’s strategic focus on faster growing, higher margin Health & Hygiene categories underpins continued acceleration in organic sales growth. Strong cash flow generation provides ample scope for healthy shareholder returns while providing sufficient firepower for M&A.”