Phew. You don’t have to cancel ‘date night’ with the other half, or abandon those plans to pelt improvised water bombs at an unsuspecting neighbour.

Reckitt Benckiser has ruled out the threat of a UK condom shortage, guaranteeing itself a media slam-dunk as pun-happy headline-writers get frisky. ( has been fairly restrained, we feel.)

The spat with Indian manufacturer TKK will not affect supplies of the Durex brand it paid £2.5bn for last year, Reckitt says, with alternative suppliers picking up the slack in Thailand and China. Still, if the plan was to divert attention away from the slowdown in sales in one of its key markets, it’s been only a partial success.

Emerging markets will have to work harder for the company in terms of sales as well as supply chain, after European like-for-likes slipped 1% over the past six months. As consumers find there’s a limit to the amount of Cillit Bang you can usefully keep in the cupboard (or simply turn to own-label), increased spend on advertising and greater reliance than usual on promotions have hit Reckitt’s margins.

Mind you, profits across the business were up 7% for the period (buoyed by its pharmaceutical arm) and cost savings from the SSL tie-up are apparently ahead of schedule. Bart Becht is certainly not presenting his successor with the kind of hospital pass that is often the final act of an outgoing chief exec.

Whatever the situation as he takes up the reins, Rakesh Kapoor should be able to buy himself some time with a few knowing remarks about his personal history of growth and performance.