Reckitt ‘Not Happy’ With Consumer Health Growth In 2018, Following European And Infant Nutrition Woes
RB's Health business failed to keep pace with market growth in 2018, with the firm admitting its mindset in Europe "needs to change." The UK-based consumer-goods giant spent the 12 months working on its RB 2.0 restructuring program, which will give it the option to separate into two independent companies focusing on Health and Hygiene by 2020.
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Reckitt Benckiser has poached PepsiCo's global chief commercial officer, Laxman Narasimhan, to replace Rakesh Kapoor as the UK-based firm's CEO. Setting his stall out early, Narasimhan has made clear that RB's "capabilities and culture" need to change to make the company fit for the new digital world.
Reckitt Benckiser was hit badly by the weak cold and flu season in the US and Europe at the start of 2019, causing its OTC sales to drop by 9%. Despite supplement sales also struggling, the firm insists it will still hit its revenue targets for the full year, with growth expected in the second half.
With online now accounting for 60% of RB's consumer health sales in China, the UK-based company is applying lessons learnt about e-commerce in the Far-East on a global scale. Through its new consumer health e-commerce organisation, e-RB, the firm is prioritizing online growth and seeking to build a leadership position ahead of its peers.