Talk of a clear brush. new broom laxman narasimhan took the most effective slot at reckitt benckiser in september, inheriting a company almost also known for its serial earnings disappointments as the lysol and nurofen companies. maybe not now. first-half profits emerged in at 1.7bn, up 15 percent and comfortably in front of consensus. development in like-for-like net revenues of 11.9 per cent likewise trounced marketplace objectives, also competitors like unilever.

A number of mr narasimhans changes, eg efforts to improve productivity, tend to be starting to keep good fresh fruit. nevertheless the timing has aided also. offering hygiene and cleaning products at a time of zealous hand washing and spring-cleaning above offsets the misfortune of flogging durex condoms during personal distancing. this isn't continual. tellingly, the group alludes to data showing 40 % people shelling out for customer items in march proceeded pantry stocking. that all must be used up before hoarders purchase even more.

Those trends, plus continued investment, suggests next year seems less positive. reckitt is coy on information however the implication for next year is a 1-2 % fall in like-for-like net profits and a contraction in operating margins to below 23 percent. the luckless 2017 acquisition of infant milk maker mead johnson continues to pull. net like-for-like revenues in the infant and kid nutrition division, approximately a fifth of return, had been down 4.8 per cent. first protests and then coronavirus in hong kong disrupted the informal but well-known daigou station, wherein surrogate consumers buy child milk in hong-kong for mainland chinese consumption.

Reckitt still has a margins in the market; only colgate-palmolive associated with the us on 23 % comes close. the pandemic has actually accelerated its move to sell more internet based ecommerce product sales had been up 60 % and today take into account 12 percent of sales that should in addition show supportive. but shares are up roughly a third since the covid-19 trough in march. investors should heed mr narasimhans nod to caution.

If you are a customer and wish to receive notifications whenever lex articles are published, just click the option add to myft, which appears at the top of this page above the headline.