Companies

For Reckitt Benckiser, India was among the largest contributors to growth in 2020

Meenakshi Verma Ambwani New Delhi | Updated on February 24, 2021

Harpic now used by over 100 million Indian homes, says consumer products major

Global consumer health and hygiene company, Reckitt Benckiser (RB) on Wednesday said India, US and China were the “largest contributors” to the company’s growth in 2020.

Stating that it has made significant progress in driving penetration of its products as consumers increasingly seek trusted hygiene brands during the pandemic, the company added that Harpic is now used in over 100 million households in India.

In its fourth quarterly and full year earnings release for 2020, the British consumer products major said, “All geographic regions have grown, with the largest contributors to growth including the US, India and China. Around 70 per cent of our category market units by revenue either gained or held market share, with the strongest gains in many hygiene and health categories.”

In an earnings call, Laxman Narasimhan, global Chief Executive Officer, Reckitt Benckiser, said “the growth has been broad-based geographically. In particular, there was strong double-digits in the US and India, as well as high single-digit in China. These three businesses make up almost half of our revenues. And our top 10 markets have delivered an average of 15 per cent growth.”

He said both Dettol and Harpic delivered strong growth in markets like India. “Dettol’s position in India, where our performance, relative to our leading competitor, was very strong,” Narasimhan added. It’s toilet cleaner brand Harpic is now used in over 100 million homes in India, up by nearly 30 million compared to 2019, as a result of “purpose-led marketing campaigns centred around behaviour change”, the company claimed.

Informal trade

On efforts of players like Reliance to digitise Indian kirana stores, Narasimhan said the company is closely monitoring the digitisation of informal trade in emerging markets. “Clearly it's something that we are closely monitoring, it's something we are closely work with. We work with a variety of players that actually also provide that. We're also building our B2B capabilities. We think this is a clear opportunity,” he said.

In its half yearly earnings released in July last year, RB had said that Dettol had become the leading soap brand in the Indian market for the first time, in terms of value share.

According to Nielsen IQ, hygiene and immunity building categories continued to witness high value growth of 46 per cent in the country in the October-December period, over same period in 2019.

Published on February 24, 2021

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