Anglo-Dutch consumer products group, Reckitt Benckiser, said product innovations such as Vanish Oxi Action, as well as favourable flu and pest season conditions in the first quarter, saw net sales growth rise 12%.

Reckitt’s chief executive Bart Becht said profitability would benefit from improvement in gross margins but partially offset by an increase in media and marketing support behind new initiatives.

First quarter results are due to be published on May 13.