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Reckitt Benckiser to top expectations as coronavirus pandemic sparks disinfectants boom

Quarterly sales jumped thanks to higher demand for cleaning products such as Dettol and Lysol as well as drugs such as Mucinex and Nurofen.

Reckitt Benckiser - Reckitt Benckiser expects full-year performance to top expectations

Reckitt Benckiser Group PLC (LON:RB.) said full-year performance is now expected to top expectations after the coronavirus pandemic drove up demand for disinfectants and sanitisers.

In the quarter to 31 March, sales jumped 13% to £3.5bn, led by the popularity of cleaning products such as Dettol and Lysol as well as over-the-counter drugs such as Mucinex and Nurofen.

READ: Recovery plays: Ocado, LSE and Reckitt are 'top picks' for post-coronavirus rebound

The producer of health, hygiene and home products said in an update the outlook over the remainder of 2020 remains uncertain as it expects higher operating costs from implementing safety measures.

The firm, which was at the start of a major turnaround effort under new management team when the virus broke, is now investing in capacity to meet growing demand.

“Although sales were lifted by stockpiling as the crisis took hold, it seems likely that some of the changes to consumer behaviour in the wake of the pandemic will be lasting," said Russ Mould, investment director at AJ Bell.

“This could provide some extra pep to the recovery plan being delivered by CEO Laxman Narasimhan."

Shares advanced 4% to 6,676p on Thursday morning, above February levels.

--Adds analyst's comment, shares--


Quick facts: Reckitt Benckiser

Price: 7566 GBX

Market: LSE
Market Cap: £53.8 billion

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