Reckitt Benckiser Sales Miss Estimates On South Korean Fallout
Reckitt Benckiser Group Plc, the maker of Dettol disinfectants, said second-quarter sales missed estimates as it was hurt by fallout from deaths linked to toxic humidifier sanitizers the company once sold in South Korea.
Sales rose 4 percent, excluding acquisitions, disposals and currency shifts, the Slough, England-based company said in a statement Friday. The median estimate of analysts surveyed by Bloomberg was for a 4.8 percent gain. A decline in business in South Korea lowered quarterly sales by 1 percentage point, the company said, and it now sees full-year sales growth coming in at the lower end of its 4 percent to 5 percent forecast.
“We have expressed our sincere apologies to all individuals and their families who have suffered from lung injury as a result,” Reckitt Benckiser said.
Reckitt Benckiser executives have publicly apologized for not responding more quickly to complaints about the disinfectants, which led to deaths and respiratory illnesses. The company also took a 300-million pound ($395 million) charge for costs associated with its business there, which represents about 1.5 percent of total revenue. The disinfectants were recalled by the Korean government in November 2011, and the company stopped selling them that same year.
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