Tuesday, July 27, 2021

Reckitt Benckiser H1 earnings: India records ‘high single digit’ revenue growth

Dettol becomes leading soap brand in terms of value share

The increased focus on health and hygiene due to the Covid-19 pandemic has aided Reckitt Benckiser (RB)-owned Dettol to gain market share and become the leading soap brand in the Indian market for the first time, in terms of value share.

The health and hygiene products maker, which released its global half yearly and Q2 earnings on Tuesday, July 28, said, India recorded a “high single digit” revenue growth in this period, despite the severity of the lockdown. It added that India saw growth in May and June as lockdown eased.

Power brand

Commenting on the India performance on an investor call, Laxman Narasimhan, Global Chief Executive Officer, Reckitt Benckiser said, “Dettol is a power brand and it has achieved market share leadership in soaps in India for the first time. It boils down certainly to the fact that there are tailwinds that you get from Covid in India but it also boils down to some of the execution improvements we are seeing in both the health segment as well as the hygiene segment. What we are seeing there is a focus on distribution, a focus on ensuring availability, which hasn’t been easy, given the lockdowns in India at various places and at various points.”

“So, what we are doing there is not just a focus on financial results per say, in the short term, but also building the equity of the brand. And the Dettol brand equity is at one of its highest points. We are also heartened by the progress we are seeing in Lizol as well as in Harpic in India and the continued scale up of that business,” Narasimhan added. The company has been focusing on ramping up points of distribution to fuel the demand of its hygiene products

Strong global growth

Laxman Narasimhan
Global Chief Executive Officer,
Reckitt Benckiser

In its half-yearly earnings statements, the company said brand Dettol witnessed strong growth globally and was up 62% compared to the same period in 2019, “with growth in both developed and emerging markets, led by Covid-19 demand fuelling greater product penetration and frequency of use.” It said Dettol became the number one soap brand in India, the UAE, Saudi Arabia and Malaysia.

Narasimhan also pointed out the investment commitments made towards promoting hygiene habits in collaboration with the public health authorities besides other initiatives around donation of hygiene products.

The company has also been focusing on developing the new professional services business globally signing agreements with players such as Hilton and Delta Airlines. Last week, it announced a similar commercial partnership in India with PVR Cinemas to provide hygiene products for sanitisation and implement enhanced cleaning and sanitising protocols.

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