Reckitt Benckiser to focus on 'powerbrands' with centralised marketing set-up

Reckitt Benckiser is to hive off its pharmaceutical division, which houses drugs such as heroin addiction treatment Suboxone, as a standalone business, so that it can focus its efforts on consumer "powerbrands" such as Finish, Nurofen and Durex.

Finish: one of Reckitt Benckiser's 'powerbrands'
Finish: one of Reckitt Benckiser's 'powerbrands'

The move is designed to help the business cut costs and drive efficiencies. Marketing for its consumer brands will no longer be handled on a country-by-country basis, but rather across large "regions", with a single team being responsible for Europe and North America for instance.

The FMCG firm made the announcement today, while reporting its financial results for the second quarter, with half-year operating profits up 16% year on year to £1.06bn.

Reckitt Benckiser’s pharmaceutical business contributes a smaller proportion of profits than it did, kicking off a strategic review of the business, which has resulted in today’s announcement.

Chief executive Rakesh Kapoor said: "We believe that RB Pharmaceuticals has the potential to deliver significant long-term value creation as a standalone business.

"We have therefore decided to pursue a demerger of RB Pharmaceuticals with a separate UK listing. We expect this to take place over the next 12 months. This will also allow RB to focus on its core strategy to be a global leader in consumer health and hygiene."

The news follows an announcement on 24 July that the company is to invest £100m in its consumer health research and development, with the creation of a "state-of-the-art" Centre of Scientific Excellence, which will be based in the UK.

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