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Sensodyne-maker Haleon posts tepid sales as demand for some products cool off

Sensodyne-maker Haleon posts tepid sales as demand for some products cool off

(Reuters) -Consumer healthcare company Haleon reported first-quarter revenue slightly below market estimates on Wednesday, as volumes declined due to retailer destocking in U.S. and cooling demand for some of its medicines after a surge last year.

The maker of popular household products such as Sensodyne toothpaste and pain-reliever Panadol, had earlier said that the first three months of 2024 would be impacted by a softer cold and flu season and a slowdown in painkiller Advil’s sales in Canada, following a surge in demand last year.

Demand for medicines such as Contac and Fenbid, which benefited from pent-up demand in China last year after lockdown restrictions were lifted, have also cooled, impacting Haleon’s quarterly sales growth.

Revenues stood at 2.92 billion pounds ($3.64 billion) for the quarter ended March 31, slightly missing expectations of 2.93 billion pounds, according to a company-compiled consensus.

On a reported basis, revenue was down 2.2% on last year.

“The miss in volumes more than offsets a (played down) margin beat, outlook no change. We could expect the stock to be an under performer this AM,” Jefferies analysts said.

Shares in the FTSE 100 group fell 1.8% to 333.30 pence, to become one of the top losers on the blue-chip index. The stock has risen about 5% this year as of Tuesday’s close.

Haleon, whose name is inspired by the merging ‘Hale’, which is an old English word that means ‘in good health’, and Leon which is associated with the word ‘strength’.

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It comprises assets from GSK and Pfizer and sells non-prescription drugs, vitamins and oral care products. It was spun-off from GSK in 2022.

Demand for its oral health products and multivitamins held steady during the reported quarter, and the company re-affirmed its full-year outlook outlined in February.

Adjusted operating profit grew 2.3% to 707 million pounds in the first quarter.

On Tuesday, the firm disclosed plans to shut its UK production site which makes Sensodyne toothpastes by 2026, saying it was not longer viable to manufacture its products there.

($1 = 0.8021 pounds)

(Reporting by Eva Mathews and Chandini Monnappa in Bengaluru; Editing by Rashmi Aich and Michael Perry)


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