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Durex reassures over condom supply

Durex dismissed fears that condom supplies to the UK were under threat yesterday, even though a legal row with a major Indian manufacturer remains unresolved.

The statement came as Reckitt, which also produces Dettol, Cillit Bang and Air Wick, reported a 14 per cent increase in adjusted operating profit to £1.1bn in the six months to June.

TTK Lig, which is thought to produce more than half of Durex's condoms, halted its supply in May, following a dispute with its parent company Reckitt Benckiser over pricing and distribution rights. Durex said there were still "plenty" of its condoms available, despite a City analyst warning that retail supplies were waning and after a High Court bid to force TTK to resume supply failed.

Alex Smith, an analyst at Citigroup, said industry sources suggested the Indian supply disruption was being felt in the UK at retailer level. However, a spokesman for Durex yesterday dismissed the claims, saying other factories had stepped up production to help make up for TTK.

Reckitt's shares rose 48p to 3,526p as the blue-chip company said demand for household and personal care products in emerging markets boosted its second-quarter profits and sales. Sales in Asia, Africa, Latin America, the Middle East and Eastern Europe offset a weaker performance in Western Europe and North America. PA