Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Reckitt Benckiser Adds Extra Sparkle and Aims for Ambitious Growth; City in Brief

Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Reckitt Benckiser Adds Extra Sparkle and Aims for Ambitious Growth; City in Brief

Article excerpt

Reckitt Benckiser adds extra sparkle and aims for ambitious growth HOUSEHOLD products group Reckitt Benckiser has beaten its own forecasts and set ambitious new growth targets for the current year.

The group, created by the [pound]5 billion merger of Reckitt & Colman and Benckiser of Holland in 1999, said today its merger savings had come earlier than expected and it had enjoyed an exceptionally strong fourth quarter.

Pre-tax profits for 2000 jumped by 35% to [pound]391 million, above analysts' expectations.

Net income was ahead by 38% to [pound]275 million, against the group's earlier target of 25%, while net revenues increased by 7% to [pound]3.16 billion, against the original target of 5% growth.

"2000 was a fantastic year," said chief executive Bart Becht.

"It saw Reckitt Benckiser firmly established as the world leader in household cleaning, clearly delivering on its merger promises."

Becht predicts growth in net revenues of 4% this year, and in net income of 18%. The dividend total is held at 25.5p.

Bid drag on Elementis

LACK OF information and the prospect of a long delay before bidders can be drawn out for chemical producer Elementis, left the shares down 5p at 961/2p today, a long way from the predicted 150p the likes of Candover, CVC Capital Partners, Schroder Ventures and Duke Street Capital may be willing to pay for the group.

The group suffered a [pound]4 million hit last year.

In that period ending December pre-tax profits increased by 14% to [pound]58.4 million. Earnings per share were up 25% to 11.6p. Once again instead of receiving a dividend shareholders are to get redeemable B shares, saving the group [pound]3. …

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