Dettol and Durex maker cuts earnings forecast citing June cyber attack

Major companies, including Russia’s biggest oil company and Ukrainian banks were affected by a sweeping attack on 27 June

Josie Cox
Business Editor
Thursday 06 July 2017 15:33
Comments
Revenue: Reckitt Benckiser hopes to recoup recent losses in the third quarter
Revenue: Reckitt Benckiser hopes to recoup recent losses in the third quarter

The maker of Durex condoms and Dettol has cut its growth forecast, citing the cost of last month’s cyber attack which it said disrupted manufacturing and distribution.

Major companies, including Russia’s biggest oil company and Ukrainian banks were affected by a sweeping attack in June.

Reckitt Benckiser, which also makes Nurofen, Strepsils and Gaviscon, and Cillit Bang cleaning products, estimated on Thursday that like-for-like revenue in the second quarter of the year would decrease by 2 per cent because of the attack.

“The attack did disrupt the company’s ability to manufacture and distribute products to customers in multiple markets,” Reckitt Benckiser said. “Consequently, we were unable to ship and invoice some orders to customers prior to the close of the quarter.”

RB added that some of its factories were still not operating normally, “but plans are in place to return to full operation”.

It also said that, to a lesser extent, the implementation of a new tax in India had resulted in reduced orders from some customers throughout June.

The company expects some of the revenue lost during the second quarter to be recovered in the third quarter of 2017.

“However, the continued production difficulties in some factories mean that we also expect to lose some further revenue permanently.”

Danish shipping company Maersk and British advertising company WPP were also hit by June’s attack, which originated in Ukraine. A hospital in the US and pharmaceutical company Merck also fell victim. Cadbury-owner Mondelez was forced to temporarily halt production in one of its factories in Australia.

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