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Emerging Markets Boost Sales At Reckitt Benckiser Group Plc

Shares in Reckitt Benckiser (LSE: RB) (NASDAQOTH: RBGLY.US) lifted 74p in early trade this morning following positive results for the second quarter and half year to date.

Net revenue increased 7% on an actual exchange rate to reach £2.48bn, while it rose by the same percentage for the half year to yield £4.99bn. This was helped by like-for-like growth of 6% across the portfolio, excluding Reckitt Benckiser Pharmaceuticals.

Adjusted operating profit came in at £1.16bn, up 3% in H1 2013 against the comparative period last year, while earnings per share lifted 7% on an adjusted basis to 118.7p. As a result, the interim dividend also increased by 7% to 60p per share.

Chief executive officer Rakesh Kapoor commented:

“I am pleased that our strong focus on Health & Hygiene Powerbrands is working and our improved company growth rates confirm that we are making the right strategic choices.

“We continue to face challenging market conditions. Nonetheless, these strong H1 results, our sustained investment behind the equity of our brands, together with excellent progress on the integration of our recent acquisitions, give us confidence that we can achieve full year total revenue growth at the upper end of +5-6% range (ex RBP) while maintaining adjusted operating margins.”

Management praised a strong performance in emerging markets for the growth figures announced today, despite a slowing of volume market growth in certain regions. Kapoor highlighted Reckitt’s “organisational focus on 16 Powermarkets, such as China, [as] another critical element of our growth strategy and is enabling us to sustainably outperform our markets”.

With the sales figures at the top end of forecasts, Reckitt may be set for a drive that could boost your portfolio; not least with its consensus yield of 2.9% and its growth strategy that have seen the shares almost double in price over the last five years.

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> Sam does not own shares in Reckitt Benckiser.