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Mild cold and flu season dents healthcare group Haleon’s earnings | City & Business | Finance

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Haleon, the owner of Panadol, Centrum vitamins and other brands, blames a poor cold and season for its first quarter revenues falling 2.2 percent to £2.9billion.

Chief executive Brian McNamara blamed tough comparisons with the first quarter of 2023 for the weaker trading in both its respiratory health and pain relief divisions, which saw their revenues fall 7.8 percent to £470million and 8.6 percent to £662million respectively.

Despite the drop in its revenues, cost efficiencies, lower operating expenses and financing costs helped lift its pre-tax profits from £542million to £590million.

Mr McNamara added that despite the “challenging” economic environment, the consumer healthcare giant still expects to hit its targets. It believes it can achieve revenue growth of four to six percent this year.

He added: “We are confident that we are well positioned to deliver on our guidance for 2024 and over the medium term.”

Until 2022, Haleon was part of pharmaceuticals giant GSK, which saw its first-quarter sales rise six percent to £7.4billion.

However, its pre-tax profits dropped 29 percent to £1.4billion due to its research and development costs rising 14 percent to £1.4billion, a double-digit fall in its income from royalties and higher finance costs.

GSK chief executive Emma Walmsley said that the group had made a “strong start to the year” and that she was confident it can deliver “another year of meaningful growth in sales and earnings”.

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