Cleaning products group Reckitt Benckiser has reported an increase in interim sales due to “growth behind new product initiatives”.

The manufacturer of products such as Harpic and Mr Sheen said interim sales were up 3% from last year to £1.8bn during the six months to June 30 compared with the same period last year. It said pre-tax profit was up 14% to £269m from £237m last year.

Chief executive, Bart Becht, said: “Growth has come from practically all categories and regions. In Western Europe, growth behind new product initiatives was particularly robust resulting in strong product growth.”

New products include Vanish Oxi Action Gel and Vanish Oxi Action carpet cleaner and Dettol Easy Mop in Western Europe.

In the food category, the group said that its recently launched French’s Gourmayo flavoured mayonnaise, French’s new cheddar flavoured fried onions and French’s yellow mustard performed particularly well.

Analysts have suggested that Reckitt Benckiser could be named as a possible bidder for SSL International, the healthcare group which makes Durex condoms and Scholl footwear.