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Haleon Reports Sluggish First-Quarter Growth

By Reuters
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Haleon Reports Sluggish First-Quarter Growth

British consumer healthcare giant Haleon said that its first-quarter organic revenue growth would slow, citing a tepid cold and flu season and cooling China demand.

Despite price increases, Haleon's roster of products has largely kept cheaper private-label competition at bay, although the cost-of-living squeeze and competition among painkiller brands are allowing rivals to catch up.

Demand in China has slowed after a strong rebound last year post-COVID-19 - a trend that has been echoed by U.S. rival Kenvue, which forecast full-year profit below analysts' expectations earlier this month.

Revenue Growth

In the first quarter of 2023, Haleon's organic revenue grew by 9.9%, on a 33% jump in sales for its respiratory health products in the cold and flu season.

The company said it expects its overall revenue growth to be just below 4% for the first quarter this year.

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The world's largest standalone consumer healthcare firm, which reported its first full-year results since it was spun off from GSK in 2022, said organic revenue would rise between 4% and 6% in 2024 and that adjusted operating profit would be ahead of that range.

Analysts on average expect organic revenue to grow by 4.5% and adjusted operating profit by 7.1%, according to a company-compiled consensus.

'Increase Investment'

"Our productivity programme is progressing well and the savings from this will enable us to increase investment across the business, underpin operational leverage and support our evolution into a more agile organisation," commented chief executive Brian McNamara.

"In 2024, we expect the operating environment to remain challenging. We are confident however, that we are well positioned to deliver on both guidance for 2024 and over the medium term.”

Additional reporting by ESM

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