Scholl, sex and sore throats help Reckitt Benckiser post strong profits

Consumer goods major Reckitt Benckiser released its results, seeing it gain 4.7 per cent. Housebuilder Hammerson also released some strong results and gained 2.6 per cent.

Emerging market sales rose 9 per cent, with strong growth in China and India.

The group will launch several products this year, including Dettol Gold disinfectant spray, an athletes foot treatment and Nurofen soft chews for children.

Group, the maker of Durex condoms and Nurofen painkillers, reported fourth-quarter sales growth that beat analyst estimates as retailers stocked up on cold remedies during a slow flu season.

“These were great results”, said RBC analyst James Edwardes Jones, referring to the company’s top and bottom lines for the year.

Comparable sales in Reckitt’s food division, which makes French’s mustard and ketchup, rose 4% at constant currency, which the company said was partly helped by retailers buying up stock in advance of planned price increases.

One negative aspect of the full-year numbers was the decline in free-cash-flow conversion from 103 percent in fiscal year 2014 to 95 percent in 2015, as actual tax payments rose, but Canaccord Genuity expects that to resume a higher level this year.

England-based Reckitt Benckiser is seeking to expand in healthcare.

“As such, it should trade – in our opinion – on a premium price-earnings (P/E) ratio to the rest of the United Kingdom large cap FMCG sector”.

It said a restructuring programme known as “Supercharge” would help it save £150mln over three years, although it achieved a significant amount of that in the first year. The company also announced estimate- beating full-year profit and forecast further growth in 2016, sending the shares up the most in more than two years.

Reckitt Benckiser full-year sales beat estimates on health focus