Medicine and condoms give Reckitt a lift

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Demand for bathroom-cabinet and bedside-drawer staples from Strepsils to Nurofen and Durex is soaring, Reckitt Benckiser reported yesterday.

That helped send the consumer goods giant's revenues up 7 per cent to £2.5bn for the first three months of the year.

Rakesh Kapoor, Reckitt's chief executive, who pocketed £6.3m in pay and share bonuses last year, said an extra-vicious flu season had helped revenues grow. "Mucinex and Strepsils have done particularly well, benefiting from a higher incidence of flu in the US and cold, flu and sinus innovations," Mr Kapoor, pictured, added.

Nurofen and Durex also had "a strong performance," Mr Kapoor said. Reckitt said its condom brand's surging popularity was linked to major growth in China and the "roll-out" of its Real Feel condoms, designed to give "a natural skin-on-skin feeling". Elsewhere, Dettol sales are growing "very strongly" in emerging markets, the consumer goods group added.