RECKITT BENCKISER shares fell 25 per cent after the maker of kitchen and bathroom cleaners warned that profit from its British business will not meet expectations this year. Pre-tax profit from operations at the Reckitt & Colman division will fall 28 per cent this year to about pounds 165m. The warning overshadowed a forecast that income from the Netherlands-based Benckiser unit will grow 15 per cent.
"The market is in a unforgiving mood with companies that miss targets," said John Elston, analyst at WestLB Panmure.
The company completed the takeover of Benckiser NV only last week to develop the marketing clout to compete better with Unilever and Procter & Gamble.