After National Lockdown Lifting In UK, Reckitt Notes Rise In Durex Sales

There has been a spurt in sale of condoms for the market leader Durex after the lifting of the national lockdown indicating a spur in a summer of love.

Over the summer months, when lifting of lockdown and other restrictions imposed because of the novel coronavirus pandemic enabled people to rekindle their sex lives, there was a 10 per cent jump in the global sales at the condom brand.

In contrast, during the spring, Durex’s owner, the household goods company Reckitt Benckiser, reported a downing of sales because lockdowns took their “toll on the number of intimate occasions” available to single people. For people in long-term relationships, this form of contraception is less popular and therefore there was a decline in the usage of condoms.

After a “more challenging first half of the year, relaxations of social distancing regulations resulted in improved demand for our sexual well-being products, including Durex, which saw double-digit growth in revenue,” said Laxman Narasimhan, the chief executive of Reckitt Benckiser.

“This has been particularly pronounced in markets where the rate of pandemic infection has materially improved,” he added.

Reckitt’s health division has benefitted from the bumper condom sales. This division of the company includes the disinfectant brands Dettol and Lysol. The division reported a 12.6 per cent growth in like-for-like sales during the three months to the end of September.

In addition to romance in the post lockdown period globally, improved health and cleanliness have also become priorities for households. A large growth in demand for its vitamin supplements, cleaning sprays such as Cillit Bang and even Air Wick air fresheners was also reported by the company. It also noted that there as a 50 per cent growth in sale of Dettol.

“Stay at home dynamics and social distancing have had significant effects on some of our brands,” the company said.

However the company experienced a mixed blessing because of some of the behaviour changes caused by the pandemic. The company pointed out to falling birth rates in some of its major markets which could cause a drop in demand for its baby formula.

Despite all these, the company reported a 13 per cent growth in its overall sales to reach £10.4bn during the quarter which beat estimates of analysts at City. The performance also propped up the company’s shares by 1 per cent.

While consumer hygiene and self-care trends have benefitted Reckitt,  the pandemic “had moved growth to another level”, said Richard Hunter, the head of markets at Interactive Investor.

“General attitudes to hygiene have now altered globally and the likelihood is that this new awareness is now here to stay,” he said.

“Reckitt has been an exception to the rule of generally beleaguered FTSE 100 companies, with the share price having significantly outperformed, rising by 20% over the past year, as compared with a decline of 18% for the wider index.”

(Adapted from TheGuardian.com)

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