Durex maker reports rise in sales of ‘sexual wellbeing’ products as Covid rules ease

Consumer goods giant Reckitt, behind the Durex brand, has seen a rise in sexual wellbeing product sales in parts of the world where Covid rules have eased.

Thanks to lockdown restrictions loosening in some countries, particularly in China, the company reported a boost in transactions.

Condom sales fell last year when lockdowns and social distancing measures were implemented globally.

But sales are expected to grow in other countries when coronavirus restrictions begin to ease, the company said. 

The company also said it continued to enjoy a boost in disinfectant product sales from its Dettol and Lysol brands as customers continue to take extra precautions around Covid-19.

Hygiene sales were up 21.1 per cent in the first three months of the year.

However, the company saw sales fall in its health and nutrition divisions due to people stockpiling products like cold and flu medicines at the start of the pandemic. 

Health sales fell by 16.4 per cent and nutrition sales fell by 12.3 per cent.

Laxman Narasimhan, the company’s chief executive, said: “Demand for Lysol and Dettol continues to be strong as consumers remain vigilant to the spread of the virus and see use of our products, and improved hygiene habits, as a way of protecting their health and regaining normality in their lives.

“As is to be expected, the underlying drivers of near-term demand for disinfectant products are dynamic, with countries around the world at different stages of the pandemic, and we are therefore closely tracking shifts in consumer behaviour to understand supply-and-demand trends.

“Our health business is seeing improved trading in sexual wellbeing, very strong growth in Gaviscon and improved execution overall.

“Meanwhile, we expect the difficult current market conditions for our cold and flu relief products to improve over time.

“In nutrition, trading continues to be strongly affected by the closure of the Hong Kong border, although we are beginning to annualise the impact of this.”

Additional reporting by PA


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