Reckitt Benckiser profits up ahead of board shake-up

20th April 2011, Comments 0 comments

Reckitt Benckiser, the household products and drugs group, posted Wednesday a slight rise in quarterly profits as it looks ahead to a new era after last week's shock resignation of its chief executive.

The Anglo-Dutch maker of household cleaner Cillit Bang, Durex condoms and Nurofen pain relief pills, said net profit rose two percent to £355 million (400 million euros, $581 million) in the first quarter compared with early 2010.

The earnings update comes after Reckitt last week appointed Indian-born Rakesh Kapoor to replace chief executive Bart Becht, whose sudden retirement on Thursday shocked markets.

"Reckitt Benckiser got off to a strong start in the first quarter of 2011," Becht said in the group's earnings statement, with revenues up 14 percent to £2.28 billion in the three months to March.

Senior Reckitt executive Kapoor takes over the helm on September 1, while Becht will remain as part-time adviser to his successor and the board until September 2012 to ensure a smooth transition.

Becht has led the group since its formation from the 1999 merger of Britain's Reckitt & Colman and Dutch group Benckiser, which he previously headed. His resignation sent Reckitt's shares sliding last week.

© 2011 AFP

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