Reckitt Benckiser sees profits soar as string of price hikes more than offset dwindling demand
The company behind popular household products such as Dettol and Lemsip saw profits soar after a string of price hikes more than offset dwindling demand.
Reckitt Benckiser, which is also behind Nurofen painkillers and Durex condoms, said profits rose 19.5 per cent to £3.4billion last year, even as it raised prices 8 per cent, with some items going up by more than a third.
That helped push revenues up 9.2 per cent to £14.5billion – even as the volume of goods it sold fell by 2.2 per cent across 2022 and as much as 5.8 per cent in the fourth quarter.
Price hikes: Reckitt Benckiser said profits rose 19.5% to £3.4bn last year, even as it raised prices 8%, with some items going up by more than a third
Some hikes were much higher than the rate of inflation.
Dettol antibacterial wipes have risen by 32 per cent, from £2 for a 72-pack to £2.63, according to data from market insights firm Assosia reported by The Mail on Sunday.
Other monster uplifts include Finish dishwasher rinse aid, which has surged 37 per cent in a year, from £3.05p for a 400ml bottle to £4.17. A 12-pack of Durex Thin Feel condoms went up to £11 – 10 per cent higher than a year ago.
Interim chief executive Nicandro Durante said 2023 would see prices rise ‘much less’ with a ‘better picture’ for volumes expected too.
He said inflation was likely to cool off to ‘single digits’. ‘So we expect for 2023 much less pricing that what you saw in 2022’, said Durante, who took up the role in October last year.