Reckitt reports bumper sales of flu medicine and ‘intimate wellness’ products as people start mixing again
- Reckitt said the flu products struggled during lockdown because of ‘very low incidences of cold and flu in 2020 and the spring of 2021′
- The firm’s health business sales grew by 17.5pc in the last three months of 2021
- This was driven by a 40pc jump in the over-the-counter drugs and around 15pc growth of its intimate brands
The end of lockdown sparked a boom in sales of condoms and flu medicine
The end of lockdown sparked a boom in sales of condoms and flu medicine as people started mixing again, according to the maker of Durex condoms.
Reckitt, which also makes Veet hair remover, said it saw a double digit boost in sales of its ‘intimate wellness’ brands at the end of 2021 as customers headed back out.
The Slough-based group, which also makes Strepsils and Lemsip, said over-thecounter flu medicines sold well too as more of us met up and spread the virus.
Reckitt said the flu products struggled during lockdown because of ‘very low incidences of cold and flu in 2020 and the spring of 2021.
‘As people return to normal working and socialising, the products are benefiting, although they are still below 2019 levels.’
Kit Kat prices to rise
Two of the world’s biggest consumer goods companies warned they are hiking the prices of products. Nestle, which makes KitKat and Nescafe coffee, said it was a ‘safe assumption’ prices would rise this year.
It said it lifted prices across its products by 3.1pc in the last three months of 2021, compared with a year earlier. Reckitt also warned of rising prices as it deals with an ‘unprecedented inflationary environment’.
It said it would absorb some of the cost increases it is facing but said it would ‘pass some on customers’. Its own costs rose 11pc across the group in 2021.
The firm’s health business sales grew by 17.5pc in the last three months of 2021, driven by a 40pc jump in the over-the-counter drugs and around 15pc growth of its intimate brands, which also include KY.
Reporting its 2021 results, Reckitt said revenues hit £13.2bn as sales rose 3.5pc. Many of its brands which were boosted by Covid, including the surface cleanser Dettol, took a hit.
Sales of Dettol fell by more than a tenth last year compared with 2020, when surfaces were routinely cleaned to stop the potential spread of the virus. Reckitt slumped to a £260m loss for the year, compared with a profit of £1.9bn a year earlier. Shares jumped 5.9pc, or 345p, to 6152p.
■ Nestle reported soaring sales of coffee, pet food and vegan products. The double-digit growth helped the food group boost overall sales in 2021 by 7.5pc to £69.4bn. Profit jumped 38pc to £13.5bn for the year.