Reckitt posts drop in fourth-quarter like-for-like net revenue


LONDON (Reuters) -Consumer goods group Reckitt missed fourth-quarter like-for-like net sales expectations, it said on Wednesday, citing declines in sales of cold and flu season products.

The maker of Nurofen pain medication and Dettol cleaning products said it is “confident in the year ahead” and expects like-for-like net revenue growth of 2-4%, with mid-single-digit growth for its Health and Hygiene portfolios.

Reckitt said quarterly like-for-like net revenue fell 1.2% while analysts in a company-supplied poll had expected 1.6% growth.

“While our performance in Q4 was unsatisfactory, we look to 2024 and beyond with confidence,” CEO Kris Licht said.

The company also said it recently identified “an understatement of trade spend in two Middle Eastern markets related to the fourth quarter and prior quarters of 2023”.

As a result, full year net revenue was 55 million pounds ($69.59 million) lower than previously expected.

Reckitt’s full-year adjusted operating profit was 3.37 billion pounds, down from 3.44 billion pounds.

“Following an investigation, we concluded a small group of employees had acted inappropriately and we are taking necessary disciplinary action,” Reckitt said in its earnings statement. “We are confident this is an isolated incident specific to these two markets and does not impact our 2024 outlook and medium-term goals.”

($1 = 0.7904 pounds)

(Reporting by Richa Naidu; editing by David Goodman and Jason Neely)

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