London: Reckitt Benckiser Group Plc says it’ll bounce back from its worst year ever.
The Slough, England-based maker of Durex condoms and Nurofen painkillers forecast that comparable sales will rise by 2% to 3% in 2018, after the first 12-month period of stagnant sales in the company’s history. On that basis, sales were up 2% in the fourth quarter.
The company is eyeing a comeback from a sour year marred by a cyberattack and lacklustre demand for new products. Chief executive officer Rakesh Kapoor has moved to separate its home-care and health businesses, sharpening his focus on brands such as Strepsils and Mucinex. Reckitt became a leader in infant nutrition with the acquisition of Mead Johnson Nutrition Co.
“We returned to growth after a solid finish to the year, our acquisition of MJN is firmly on track and the creation of two business units—RB Health and RB Hygiene Home—will drive long-term growth," Kapoor said Monday in a statement.
Reckitt Benckiser is one of two remaining bidders vying to acquire Pfizer’s consumer-health business, which includes brands such as Advil and ChapStick lip balm, according to people familiar with the matter. UK drugmaker GlaxoSmithKline Plc is the other.
A takeover, which could fetch as much as $20 billion, would be the company’s largest since the Mead Johnson deal was completed last year. Bloomberg