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Reckitt Benckiser sales hurt by manufacturing disruption

Reckitt Benckiser sales hurt by manufacturing disruption
FILE PHOTO: Products produced by Reckitt Benckiser; Vanish, Finish, Dettol and Harpic, are seen in London February 12, 2008. REUTERS/Stephen Hird   -   Copyright  Stephen Hird(Reuters)
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LONDON (Reuters) – British consumer goods maker Reckitt Benckiser Group <RB.L> reported a smaller-than-expected rise in third-quarter sales growth on Tuesday due to a temporary manufacturing disruption at a European baby formula factory.

The maker of Durex condoms and Enfamil formula said like-for-like sales rose 2 percent in the third quarter, ended in September.

Excluding the disruption, which reduced sales by 70 million pounds ($90 million), like-for-like sales growth would have been 4 percent. That would have been in line with analysts’ average estimates, according to a consensus supplied by the company.

Reckitt said its European baby formula plant experienced a disruption that affected sales to a number of markets during a period of unusually high market growth, and before new facilities in Australia were operational.

It said the disruption was resolved and supply was restored before the end of the quarter, although it said it expected some lingering impact in the current fourth quarter and into 2019.

Reckitt affirmed its full-year growth target for total net revenue growth of 14 to 15 percent at constant currency rates and like-for-like growth at the upper end of the 2 to 3 percent range.

($1 = 0.7814 pounds)

(Reporting by Martinne Geller; Editing by Kirsten Donovan and Edmund Blair)

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