If it doesn't clean or taste good, it doesn't cut the mustard with Reckitt Benckiser. A subsidiary of UK-based Reckitt Benckiser plc, the company makes and markets household, cleaning, and food products for sale in North America. The firm holds a vast brand portfolio that includes French's Foods (Cattlemen's Barbecue Sauce, French's Mustard, Frank's RedHot, GourMayo, Worcestershire). Some of Reckitt Benckiser's household and cleaning products include Air Wick air fresheners, Electrasol dish detergent, Jet-Dry rinse agent, Lysol cleaners and disinfectants, Resolve cleaners, and Spray 'n Wash laundry stain removers. It expanded into skin care in 2011. Its parent bought Adams Respiratory Therapeutics in 2008.
The company's purchase of Adams has allowed it to extend its reach into the US, where it already peddles its Mucinex products. The US is the world's largest over-the-counter pharmaceutical market. And with a regulatory change in the US, Reckitt Benckiser's pharmaceutical sales have increased. Doctors are now able to treat more patients with Soboxone, which resulted in sales spikes for Reckitt Benckiser's pharmaceutical unit. It sells the drug directly in the US and in Australia. Additionally, Reckitt Benckiser received approval to exclusively market Soboxone through 2016 in the European Union, Norway, and Iceland.
In 2010 the company's parent went shopping yet again and acquired health care product company SSL International for about $3.8 billion. The takeover of the London-based maker of Durex condoms made Reckitt Benckiser the world's largest condom manufacturer. Reckitt Benckiser in 2011 also purchased several brands from Combe Incorporated, including Cepacol, Hemoal, Lanacane, LiceMD, and Scalpicin, as Combe shed its cough/cold and skin care businesses.
During the past couple of years, the US subsidiary has seen gains in its household segment through increased sales in surface care (Lysol), automatic dishwashing (Electrasol 3-in-1 tablets), and home care (Air Wick Freshmatic and Air Wick Electrical Oils) products. Lysol disinfectant products got a sales boost from concern over the H1N1 virus.
Sales in the US are reported as part of Reckitt Benckiser Group's segment revenue for North America and Australia. This segment logged 28% of its overall sales in fiscal 2009; the company has about a dozen locations across the US. Sure to spur changes for its subsidiaries, Reckitt Benckiser's parent company, which was formed in 1999, will see turnover at the top in 2011. It was announced earlier in the year that CEO Bart Becht plans to step down effective September. He's expected to be succeeded by Rakesh Kapoor, a top executive at Reckitt Benckiser Group who heads up global category development. – less