Reckitt Benckiser ups profits target
Friday 30 August 2002
Reckitt Benckiser, the Anglo-Dutch maker of Mr Sheen polish, Vanish stain remover and Dettol antiseptic, raised its full-year targets yesterday after a host of new products buoyed sales in the first half.
The group said growth in Western Europe and North America on the back of product launches such as flushable Harpic loo wipes and Woolite Black for dark coloured clothes had "more than" offset difficult trading conditions in certain developing markets.
In line with analysts' expectations, it raised its target for annual net income growth to 18 per cent against earlier forecasts of 12 to 15 per cent growth. It added that revenues would also grow at the upper end of the 4 to 6 per cent range previously announced.
Bart Becht, the chief executive, said the group, which was formed in 1999 by Reckitt & Colman's takeover of the Dutch company Benckiser, was on the hunt for acquisitions. Eradicating the group's debt by the end of 2002 would leave it free to spend up to £1bn, he said, adding that if no deals materialised the cash would go back to shareholders.
The group's bullish outlook helped send its shares to the top of the FTSE 100 risers. They gained 7 per cent to close up 72p at 1180p.
"The new targets are clearly based on results to date, with a 21 per cent rise in second-quarter profits indicating that for the remaining part of the year an 18 per cent rise is justified," Mr Becht said.
The group beat market forecasts to report a 4 per cent rise in pre-tax profits for the six months to end-June to £237m. Sales increased 3.5 per cent to £1.76bn.
Analysts said Reckitt may enter the auction for the Germany conglomerate Bayer's household insecticide arm, which could fetch £750m. Pfizer's Schick-Wilkinson Sword shaving business could also be a target, they added.
Reckitt said operating margins had edged closer to its aim of catching those at its US rivals. A 130 basis points rise in its operating margin to 16.5 per cent already puts it ahead of European peers such as Unilever and Henkel.
Britain First criticised for using actress's memory to draw attention to their 'hate-filled home page'
- 1 This 'woman calls police to order pizza' story isn't going where you're expecting
- 2 Axe wielding man shot dead after attacking four New York policemen on busy street
- 3 Watch what happened when food critics were unknowingly served McDonald's
- 4 Jimmy Carr's Oscar Pistorius joke goes a bit too far at the Q Awards
- 5 Ottawa shootings: Bruce MacKinnon's cartoon is the perfect tribute to soldier Nathan Cirillo
Renee Zellweger on plastic surgery rumours: 'I'm living a more fulfilling life and I'm thrilled that perhaps it shows'
FCKH8: YouTube reinstates provocative anti-sexism video showing young girls swearing
Axe wielding man shot dead after attacking four New York policemen on busy street
This 'woman calls police to order pizza' story isn't going where you're expecting
Jimmy Carr's Oscar Pistorius joke goes a bit too far at the Q Awards
Of course, teenage girls need role models – but not like beauty vlogger Zoella
Cameron is warned 'no possibility' of UK reducing immigration and that bid to bring in quota on migrant workers would be illegal
Support for EU membership 'at highest level since 1991' with most Brits wanting to stay 'in'
Thousands with degenerative conditions classified as 'fit to work in future' – despite no possibility of improvement
Residents should throw a street party and mix with immigrant neighbours, councils told
Attacks on 'Ukip Calypso' show how skewed people’s priorities are
iJobs Money & Business
£60000 per annum: Ashdown Group: Compensation and Benefits Manager - Compensat...
£30000 - £35000 Per Annum plus excellent benefits: Clearwater People Solutions...
£24000 - £28000 per annum + bonus & benefits: Ashdown Group: IT Business Syste...
£50000 - £90000 per annum + benefits: Ampersand Consulting LLP: Markit EDM (CA...