Reckitt Price Increases Result In Higher-Than-Expected Sales Growth

Reckitt Benckiser Group surpassed first-quarter sales projections on Friday, raising prices to compensate for rising raw material costs and stagnant volumes.

Consumer goods companies ranging from Procter & Gamble to Nestle have been attempting to hike prices in the face of rising supply chain and commodity costs for months, with Russia’s invasion of Ukraine also driving up energy prices to record highs.

According to the manufacturer of Lysol cleaning products and Durex condoms, cost inflation has reached the “high teens.” In February, the company announced that full-year costs had climbed by nearly 11 per cent, and that it projected spending to rise further in 2022.

“The input environment remains highly volatile and unpredictable,” Reckitt said. “It has become more adverse since our last market update in February due to the ongoing war in Ukraine.”

Reckitt raised prices by 5.3 per cent during the quarter and now anticipates full-year like-for-like net revenue growth to be towards the upper range of its 1-4 per cent projection.

“We’re very conscious of our competitive position, of our price gaps versus competitors,” Chief Executive Laxman Narasimhan said on a media call. “We’re looking at price points and ensuring consumers have a range of price points.”

The firm anticipates full-year adjusted operating margins of 22.9 per cent, in line with current market estimates.

Quarterly like-for-like sales increased 5.6 per cent, exceeding the 1.5 per cent increase predicted by analysts in a company-supplied poll.

“It’s a strong, broad-based beat … They’re able to take the pricing (measures) they need to offset input cost pressures this year and still grow market share,” Barclays analyst Iain Simpson said, adding that companies far and wide are having to raise their prices.

(Adapted from USNews.com)

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