Sales: $6.5 billion
Key Personnel: Rakesh Kapoor, chief executive officer; Amedeo Fasano, executive vice president, supply; Roberto Funari, executive vice president, category development; Rob De Groot, area executive vice president, ENA; Adrian Hennah, chief financial officer; Frederic Larmuseau, area executive vice president, developing markets; Darrell Stein, senior vice president, information services; Deborah Yates, senior vice president, global human resources.
Major Products: Household and personal care products. Brands include Vanish, Calgon, Woolite, Lysol, Dettol, Cillit Bang, Harpic, Air Wick, Mortein, Veet and Clearasil.
New Products: Wave toilet block, Veet Sensitive Precision, Scholl/Amopé Wet & Dry rechargeable pedi.
Comments: Nineteen powerbrands—including Harpic, Finish and Dettol—continue to power RB, which derives more than 80% of sales from these leading brands.
The group’s geographical segments are made up of ENA (Europe, Russia/CIS, Israel, North America, Australia and New Zealand) and DvM (North Africa, Middle East, Turkey, Africa, Asia, Latin America, Japan, South Korea and ASEAN). Sales in ENA rose 10% due, in part, to the popularity of Finish in North America, and Harpic Waves and Air Wick Pure in Germany, the UK, France, Spain and Australia.
DvM sales jumped 14%, although like-for-like sales were weighed down by suits over deadly sterilizers that were sold in South Korea. Oxy Reckitt Benckiser sold a disinfectant designed for humidifiers, but the Oxy system was linked to more than 100 deaths last year. In South Asia, the popularity of Dettol and Harpic helped India post strong gains despite the demonetization policy that plagued the country in Q4. Sales in China rose sharply thanks, in part, to a robust e-commerce channel which accounted for 30% of RB’s sales in the country. Indonesia and Thailand also posted good results. The weak links within DvM were Brazil, Turkey and Saudi Arabia.
Home care sales increased 7%, led by Vanish, the world’s No. 1 fabric treatment; as well as Calgon, the No. 1 water softener and Air Wick, the No. 2 air care brand. The introduction of Air Wick Pure boosted sales, but a decline in Vanish sales was blamed on the tragic events in South Korea.
Although not in Happi’s field, no discussion of RB can neglect the $16.6 billion acquisition of Mead Johnson, a leader in infant and children’s nutrition. It fits well with RB’s stated purpose: “to provide people with innovative solutions for healthier lives and happier homes.”