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Man Getting Flu Shot/AFP

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Reckitt Benckiser says Q1 sales boosted by flu season

Man Getting Flu Shot/AFP

Man Getting Flu Shot/AFP

LONDON, Apr 22 – British household goods and drugs firm Reckitt Benckiser on Monday posted rising first-quarter sales, lifted by a prolonged cold and flu season in North America and Europe.

Revenues jumped seven percent to £2.52 billion ($3.84 billion, 2.94 billion euros) in the three months to the end of March, compared with the same period a year earlier, Reckitt said in a trading update.

The London-listed group added that its performance was boosted by strong over-the-counter sales of Mucinex decongestant medicine and Strepsils throat lozenges.

“We are pleased with a strong start to the year, with our health and hygiene brands leading Reckitt Benckiser’s growth across all geographies,” said chief executive Rakesh Kapoor.

He added: “Mucinex and Strepsils have done particularly well, benefitting from a higher incidence of flu in the United States.”

Kapoor also noted that the group also experienced solid sales of Dettol surface cleaners, Durex condoms and Nurofen pain relief pills.

The British-based company cautioned over challenging market conditions but remained “confident” that it would achieve annual revenue growth of between 5.0-6.0 percent.

Reckitt had bought US-based Schiff Nutrition for $1.4 billion last year in a move which strengthened its position in the consumer health sector.

Reckitt’s other key brands also include Air Wick air fresheners, Finish dishwasher tablets and Harpic toilet cleaners.

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