Household goods firm Reckitt Benckiser has reported a growth in profit in the first half of the year, but confirmed like-for-like sales fell 2% in the second quarter as the company recovers from a major cyberattack.
The FTSE 100 company, which has the Nurofen, Dettol and Durex brands in its stable, said pre-tax profit came in at £1.02bn for the six months to June 30, up from £697m.
The firm had forecast like-for-like revenue growth in its second quarter would take a 2% hit after the cyberattack in June, which started in the Ukraine and spread across the world.
Chief executive Rakesh Kapoor said: “From an operational perspective, as expected we had a tough first half, with challenging conditions exacerbated by a sophisticated cyberattack.
“We are experiencing tough market conditions, and we still have work to do on addressing the full implications of the recent cyberattack.” Its shares were the biggest fallers on the FTSE 100, losing 3.3% by the close.
Last week, the firm agreed the sale of its food business to a US firm for £3.2bn.
Its French’s Food arm, which includes the French’s mustard, Frank’s RedHot and Cattlemen’s brands, was sold to McCormick & Company following a strategic review of the business.
Reckitt said the deal was on a cash-free, debt-free basis, and it would use the proceeds to reduce its debt
In February, Reckitt Benckiser agreed to buy formula baby milk firm Mead Johnson in a £13.3bn deal.
Mr Kapoor added: “In the first half of the year, we have made significant progress on portfolio transformation and becoming a more focused consumer health and hygiene business, with both the acquisition of Mead Johnson Nutrition, and the agreed sale of our Food business.”
Source: Sky News