Global consumer products major Reckitt said its health and hygiene businesses in India witnessed strong growth in the first half of 2021, a period in which the country battled with an intense second pandemic wave. The company released its global second quarter and half-yearly earnings ended June 30, on Tuesday.

In a statement, the company said, “Harpic grew as a result of continued penetration increases in key markets like India where revenue was up double digits.” It added that geographically, its hygiene portfolio growth was led by North America and to “a lesser extent, India,” in the first half of the year. The company’s hygiene business includes brands such as Harpic, Lizol, Vanish and Mortein.

“In India, Dettol’s largest market, revenue growth (of the brand) remained strong despite operational and supply challenges,” the company added. Talking about the performance of its health business, which consists of brands such as Dettol and Veet, the company said it witnessed growth in India, China and the UK in the first half of the year.

Laxman Narasimhan, Chief Executive Officer, Reckitt, said the markets are dynamic, reflecting several factors which the company is closely monitoring, including the prevalence of Covid strains and government guidelines such as new lockdowns and social distancing.

“The variants are having an impact on consumers and on consumer concern around germs and disinfection. And I think what we are seeing in India, is an example where you know, with the recent wave that happened there, I think you did see translation into consumption in India,” Narasimhan said at an analysts’ call on Tuesday. He added that overall, the two years’ growth in India has been extremely strong across all the company’s businesses.

Last month, Reckitt had announced the appointment of Gaurav Jain, Senior Vice-President for South Asia, as part of its strategy to bring both health and hygiene business units under one focused leadership team. It added that this focused approach will help enhance synergies, align business strategy and execution consequently improving performance.