Reckitt Benckiser (RB) has defied the City yet again by continuing to beat analyst expectations with a 7% jump in like-for-like sales to £2.2bn in the third quarter. The performance was more than 2 percentage points ahead of overall consensus of a 5.2% rise.
Growth was driven by the consumer health and hygiene – up 14% and 4% respectively – thanks to brands such as Durex and Dettol.
Emerging markets also performed well in the quarter, climbing 10% on a like-for-like basis on the back of continued strong growth in China.
Reckitt raised its full-year revenue targets from like-for-like growth of +4.5% to 5% thanks to the “strong Q3 performance”.
CEO Rakesh Kapoor said: “Our strategy for growth and outperformance, focused on Powermarkets and Powerbrands continues to deliver. In Q3 we achieved continued broad-based growth throughout our European and North American Powermarkets, and double-digit growth in developing markets. Health and Hygiene brands had an excellent quarter with +8% growth, driven by innovations and continued penetration building programmes.
“Markets remain challenging, but with +6% like-for-like growth on a year-to-date basis behind us, we are able to raise our full year LFL revenue target to +5%, and therefore remain poised for another year of growth and margin expansion.”
Shares leapt 2.4% as the markets opened this morning to 6,293p.
English wine maker Chapel Down has decided to return to the crowd in its latest fundraising efforts. The group revealed in a stock exchange announcement that it planned to raise at least £1m through a placing and a crowdfunding campaign with Seedrs for its beer and cider business Curious Drinks. CEO Frazer Thompson said: “We were humbled by the overwhelming response to last year’s record-breaking Chapel Down crowdfund and hope to build an equally impassioned army of shareholders for Curious Drinks through this latest campaign.”
Yesterday in the City
It was a mixed day for the listed grocers following the latest Kantar and Nielsen market share releases. Tesco (TSCO) saw its shares fall 2.3% to 189.2p as Kantar Worldpanel revealed sales in the 12 weeks to 11 October fell 1.7% taking market share down 0.7 percentage points to 28.1%.
Sainsbury’s (SBRY) by contrast finished the day as it started it at 263.5p after rising 1% earlier in trading. It was the only one of the big four to register a growth in sales during the period.
Morrisons (MRW) even managed increase the value of the stock by 0.4% to 173.6p despite losing sales and market share over the past 12 weeks.
Outside of the supermarkets, Dairy Crest (DCG) saw the benefit of shedding its dairies operation as shares rose 3.2% to 632.7p after the CMA finally gave its £80m disposal to Muller the green light.
McColl’s didn’t enjoy such a good day as the share price fell 3.2% to 145.3p on the back of the news it was offloading 100 newsagents to focus on the more profitable c-stores.