Home >Companies >News >Second wave boosts Harpic growth in H1 ‘21

British consumer goods major Reckitt’s toilet cleaner brand Harpic brand reported strong growth in India in the first six months ended 30 June, as the second more severe wave of covid-19 infections once again led to an increase in demand for hygiene products.

Harpic reported double-digit growth in revenue in India in the period. “Harpic grew as a result of continued penetration increases in key markets such as India where revenue was up in double digits," the company said as it announced its half yearly and second quarter results on Tuesday.

Harpic falls under the company’s hygiene portfolio, which also includes brands such as Lysol, Air Wick, and Vanish.

Net revenues within the hygiene segment grew 18.0% on a like-for-like basis in the six-month period. This was driven largely by North America and, to some extent, India, Reckitt said of its portfolio.

On a group basis, Reckitt’s net revenue was up 1.5% growth on a like-for-like basis in the first half of 2021.

The company’s business has benefited from a strong covid wave in India. Last year, Harpic reported a record jump in household penetration, reaching 100 million homes, which is nearly 30 million more than in 2019. India was among Reckitt’s “largest contributors to growth" along with America and China for the year ended 31 December 2020.

Meanwhile, as ongoing covid waves peak and ebb in certain markets, demand for hygiene products varies across geographies, top executives at the company said in an analyst call on Tuesday.

“The variants are having an impact on consumer concern around germs and disinfection. With the recent wave that happened there, you did see translation into consumption in India," said Laxman Narasimhan, chief executive officer, Reckitt.

Two years’ growth in India is extremely strong overall across all the businesses that the company has, he added.

The pandemic and the resultant improvement in hygiene and cleaning habits have benefited the Dettol brand in India too. Its revenue here remained strong despite operational and supply challenges, the company said in its earnings release. Dettol falls under the company’s health portfolio. Overall, net revenue for the health segment declined by 10.2% for the six months ended 30 June, it said.

Globally, however, several markets reported moderation in demand for Dettol. “Following the exceptional growth in Dettol in 2020 with household penetration globally increasing by more than 530bps, Dettol net revenue declined by low double digits in the first half. Most major markets were lower year-on-year as demand normalised from the 2020 peak. However, we are seeing early signs of stabilisation in some markets," it said.

Within the health category, the company reported growth in India, China, and the UK that it said more than offset by declines reported by it in North America. Reckitt’s health business includes brands such as Durex, Nurofen, Dettol and Strepsils.

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