Reckitt Struggles To Tame Enlarged Health Portfolio As Durex and Scholl Stumble In Q2
Durex, Scholl and a number of regional OTC brands fell short of expectations in Q2 as RB reported like-for-like Health sales down by 1%. Analysts are now questioning whether the UK-based firm has expanded too fast and spread itself too thin in the global consumer health market as it struggles to get the most out of its diverse portfolio.
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With its new esomeprazole-based heartburn and indigestion remedy, Guardium, Reckitt Benckiser is taking head on Pfizer’s well-established Nexium Control brand in the UK. The firm hopes that by associating Guardium with its own well-known heartburn brand Gaviscon, and by investing in a multi-million-pound marketing campaign and pharmacy education, it can carve for itself a significant slice of the UK’s gastrointestinal market.
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.