Top Companies Report

3. Reckitt Benckiser

August 6, 2012

United Kingdom
www.rb.com

Sales: $12.1 billion

Key Personnel: Rakesh Kapoor, chief executive officer; Heather Allen, executive vice president, category development; Freddy Caspers, executive vice president, LAPAC; Liz Doherty, chief financial officer; Amedeo Fasano, executive vice president, supply; Rob de Groot, area executive vice president, ENA; Salvatore Calzzone, area executive vice president, RUMEA; Gareth Hill, senior vice president, information services; Simon Nash, senior vice president, human resources.

Major Products: Household and personal care products. Brands include Vanish, Calgon, Woolite, Lysol, Dettol, Cillit Bang, Harpic, Air Wick, Mortein, Dettol, Veet, Clearasil.

New Products: Air Wick 100% natural propellant spray and Air Wick Freshmatic Odour Detect, Paras Pharmaceuticals (acquisition), Veet Easy Wax Roll-On and Lysol No-Touch Kitchen System.

Comments: In 2011, corporate sales rose 4% to $15.2 billion and net income rose more than 9% to $2.9 billion.

To deliver accelerated growth, RB is focusing on six of the world’s highest growth geographic clusters of consumers. These are built around the emerging markets of Brazil, Russia, India, China (BRIC), as well as Africa and the Middle East. To maintain that focus, the company recently reorganized its operations into three sections: ENA (North America, Central Europe, Northern Europe, Southern Europe and Western Europe); RUMEA (Russia & CIS, Middle East, North Africa and Turkey and Sub-Saharan Africa) and LAPAC (North Asia, Southeast Asia, Australia & New Zealand and Latin America).

Why the new emphasis? RB expects emerging markets to account for 50% of revenue by 2016—up from 42% in 2011. Prior to this reorganization, the company noted that 36% of its management was focused on the six billion consumers in emerging markets, versus 64% focused on the 900 million consumers in developed markets.

To further grow in India, in April, 2011, RB spent about $730 million to acquire Paras, a privately-owned Indian company with a portfolio of leading Indian over-the-counter health and personal care brands. But in February 2012, RB agreed to sell the Paras personal care brands to Marico Ltd., one of India’s leading consumer products companies, for an undisclosed amount.

Nearly a year ago, in September, Bart Becht, chief executive officer at RB for 16 years, left and ultimately joined Coty. Rakesh Kapoor, a 25-year veteran of RB, replaced Becht.

By product category, 2011 health care sales increased 37% to $5 billion or, on a like-for-like basis, +8%. In health care, the result was driven by very good growth for Nurofen, Mucinex, Strepsils and Gaviscon, boosted by such new initiatives as Strepsils Warm and Mucinex Fast Max, products that are outside of Happi’s realm. In personal care, Dettol continued to post good gains in both developing markets, and in Europe, where the continued roll-out of the No-Touch Hand Soap System has been very encouraging, the company said.


Clearasil PerfectaWash Automatic Face Wash Dispenser.
In the skin care category, Reckitt Benckiser launched Clearasil PerfectaWash. The new automatic face wash dispenser uses a sensor to dose out the perfect amount product when the consumer places her hands underneath the unit. Clearasil PerfectaWash Automatic Face Wash Dispenser & Refills includes two variants—Superfruit Splash and Soothing Plant Extracts. Both are formulated with maximum strength acne medication (2% salicylic acid). The Superfruit Splash formula features raspberry and cranberry extracts, Soothing Plant includes ingredients that are known to calm and help reduce redness. The refills are also available for purchase individually.

Fabric care sales fell 5% to $2.4 billion, due to continued weakness in laundry detergents and fabric softeners in Southern Europe. The Group continues to invest aggressively to protect the market position of Vanish against other competitor launches and intensive promotional activity. As a result, market share trends are improving, according to the company.

Surface care sales rose 3% to nearly $2.3 billion. There was good growth in Dettol/Lysol and Veja, with a strong result for Harpic being boosted by Power Plus and Max Power toilet liquids.

Home care sales increased 5% to $1.9 billion. In air care, the result was supported by the launch of Air Wick 100% natural propellant spray and Air Wick Freshmatic Odour Detect, with continued good growth in candles. In pest control, a strong season and growth in automatic sprays contributed to the performance.

Finally, sales of dishwashing products rose 3% to $1.4 billion. The performance was led by the continued success of Finish Quantum and All-in-1.

The company noted that 71% of 2011 sales came from its 19 Powerbrands—but that’s down from 73% in 2010.

For the first quarter of 2012, sales rose 4% to $3.7 billion. Home care sales rose 1%, hygiene sales rose 5% and health care sales were flat.


 
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