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Sales At Durex-Maker Reckitt Driven By More Sex And Fewer Colds

Sales At Durex-Maker Reckitt Driven By More Sex And Fewer Colds
Consumer goods giant Reckitt has noted a rise in sales of condoms in marketing including China where there has been an easing of lockdowns. For the first quarter, double digit growth in the sale of Durex compared to the same period last year was reported by the company.
But with lesser number of consumers stocking up on cold and flu medicines, there was a drop in demand for health products on the overall during the quarter.
However with improving hygiene habits, there was also strong sale of Lysol and Dettol, said Reckitt's boss.
People were engaged in less sex because of the coronavirus crisis, which was partly a "manifestation of anxiety", the company had said at the beginning of the pandemic last year. And in contrast the company noted a jump in the sales of Durex during the summer with the relaxation of social-distancing rules.
There was 12.3 per cent drop during the quarter in sale in its nutrition division, which includes baby formula brand Enfa. That was offset by strong sale of hygiene products – up by 21.1 per cent for the quarter, which resulted in a drop of just 1.1 per cent in overall sale revenues at £3.5bn.
"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," said the company’s Chief executive Laxman Narasimhan.
The company will continue to closely monitor changes in consumer behaviour and changes in demand for different products at different stages of the Covid-19 pandemic, he said. 
For health products like cold and flu relief products such as Nurofen or Strepsils, a drop of 16.4 per cent was reported by the company for the quarter. There was as much as a 9i0 per cent drop in the cases of flue and many consumers had already stocked up such health products in the previous quarters last year.
There has also been an apparent reduction in washing hands or using hand sanitizers by people in those countries that have few coronavirus cases and high vaccination rates, Narasimhan added, but added that the use of hygiene products was still higher than before the pandemic. 
There was for example, strong growth in the sale of Dettol in India which is currently facing a huge second wave of the pandemic whiule there has been a decline of sale of the product in China which has had very few cases of Covid-19 in recent months.
The company noted a big uptick in sales in "sexual wellness" products in in countries like China, as well as parts of the United States and Europe.
The company now expects this trend to grow further in other countries with the easing of lockdowns and social distancing measures which gave a greater chance to more people for using the products of the company. 
The results are an illustration of changes in spending habits as lockdown rules loosen, the company said.

Christopher J. Mitchell

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