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Reckitt Benckiser reports H1'18 profit above expectations

U.K. consumer goods maker Reckitt Benckiser Group PLC on July 27 reported first-half earnings above expectations due to the strength of its infant formula and child nutrition business, and it boosted its guidance for full-year 2018 revenue.

The manufacturer of Lysol disinfectant products and Nurofen pain relief said in a statement that it increased its target for total net revenue growth at constant rates to 14% to 15% from a previous goal of 13% to 14%, implying like-for-like revenue growth at the upper end of its 2% to 3% range. Its outlook for full-year operating margin was unchanged.

Reckitt Benckiser reported adjusted diluted earnings per share in the six months to June 30, 2018, rose to 139.9 pence from 124.9 pence, beating a mean consensus of 139 pence compiled from three analysts' estimates, according to data from S&P Capital IQ.

Net income jumped to £874 million from £512 million as revenue soared to £6.14 billion from £4.98 billion.

In the second quarter, net revenue was £3.03 billion, an increase of 5% year over year on a pro forma basis and 4% on a like-for-like basis. A cyberattack dented performance in the second quarter of 2017 and added about 2% to the like-for-like comparison.

Additionally, Reckitt Benckiser acquired Mead Johnson Nutrition Co. on June 15, 2017, allowing its performance to be included in like-for-like comparisons for the first time. The Slough, England-based company said it was on track to realize $300 million in synergies from the Mead Johnson deal by the end of the third year of ownership, an increase of $50 million on its original $250 million goal.

"Delivering growth and the successful integration of MJN remain our key priorities," Reckitt Benckiser CEO Rakesh Kapoor was quoted as saying in a statement. "Q2 was a quarter of progress against both of these priorities."