Dettol and Durex maker Reckitt joins firms upping prices

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FTSE giant’s increases echos those of Nestlé, Procter & Gamble and Unilever

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he company behind everything from Dettol disinfectant to Durex condoms has joined the rapidly growing list of companies increasing prices.

FTSE giant Reckitt said today it had raised prices by 5.3% during the quarter as it faces a “challenging operating environment”.

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CEO Laxman Narasimhan said: “The operating environment remains highly unpredictable.”

The price rises are similar to those of competitors such as Nestlé, Procter & Gamble and Unilever. All have also started to pass the increases in commodity costs as rampant global inflation rips through the markets due to supply chain problems caused by Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

Earlier this month Nestlé, the producers of everything from KitKat to Nespresso coffee machines, said it had hiked prices by an average of just over 5% in the first quarter of 2022.

Unilever the manufacturer of Dove soap and Ben & Jerry’s ice cream raised prices by more than 8% in the first quarter and has warned more hikes were on the way.

Higher prices helped Reckitt post a 5.6% increase in net revenue growth to £3.4 billion in the first quarter. Barclays said the results should be taken positively as they showed Reckitt was winning market share across the business.

Narasimhan said: “Investments we have made in brand building, innovation, and execution, have resulted in broad-based market share gains. These, coupled with pricing and revenue management actions, stands us in good stead to maintain positive momentum.”

Sales of health and nutrition products jumped by 20% in the first quarter as the Omicron wave of Covid-19 drove sales of its Strepsil cough tablets. Hygiene sales dropped 9% compared to last year, when the height of the pandemic lead to roaring sales of Lysol disinfectant.

This week, Reckitt kicked off a sale of its £7.9 million infant nutrition portfolio that includes brands such as Enfamil formula.

Shares in Reckitt rose 0.8% to £62.56 on the release of its first quarter results.


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