Reckitt Benckiser Group (RB), based in Hull, reported strong revenues for fiscal year 2021, its performance being driven by strong growth in its hygiene business, particularly in North America.
The listed health, hygiene and household products company recorded Group net sales of £13.2 billion in 2021 (2020: £13.9 billion), an increase 3.5% on a like-for-like basis.
E-commerce net revenue increased by 17% in 2021 and now represents 12% of Group net revenue. The business made a pre-tax loss of £260m (2020: £1.9bn pre-tax profit).
Laxman Narasimhan, Managing Director, said: “Our journey to rejuvenate sustainable growth is on track, as evidenced by strong LFL growth of 3.5% in 2021, building on the exceptional growth of 2020.
“Over the past two years, we have significantly strengthened our business. Our innovation pipeline is 50% larger, our brands are stronger and more relevant, and our ability to serve our customers and consumers is greatly improved.
“We’ve taken Reckitt’s strong performance-driven culture, with its unique sense of ownership, and are evolving it for the better. We have also been active in managing our portfolio, repositioning ourselves for faster growth. »
RB says that during the year, COVID-19 continued to impact its net sales. However, around 70% of its portfolio, representing brands less susceptible to the pandemic, saw mid-single-digit growth.
The remaining 30% of the Group’s portfolio – which includes Lysol, Dettol and cold and flu brands (Mucinex, Strepsils and Lemsip) – has been more volatile, reflecting fluctuations in demand related to COVID-19.
In 2021, the Group divested both its IFCN China and Scholl business and announced the sale of E45, which is expected to be completed in the second quarter of 2022. It also acquired Biofreeze – a net-growth US topical painkiller business two digits. .
For 2022, RB says it is targeting like-for-like net revenue growth of between 1% and 4%.