Reckitt Benckiser has unveiled double-digit hikes in sales and profits for the past three months.

Sales on a like-for-like basis improved by 4% across the group, despite a slight dip in Europe. Total sales were up 15% to £2.45bn, or £7.07bn for the year to date, buoyed by the acquisition of Durex maker SSL.

Operating profits for the quarter surged by 14% to £645m.

The company said personal care brands including Nurofen and Gaviscon had performed well in Europe, while laundry detergents and fabric softeners struggled.

Chief executive Rakesh Kapoor, who took over from Bart Becht last month, said the company would hit its full-year targets “assuming a normal flu season”.

“Reckitt Benckiser had a strong quarter, driven by initiatives such as Mucinex Fast Max and Finish Quantum in the US and Dettol launches in Europe and developing markets,” he said.

“Delivery of our full-year targets will mean Reckitt achieving another year of above-industry average growth in very challenging market conditions.”

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