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Three Quick Facts: Reckitt Benckiser, AO and NatWest


Here are three things you need to know in the financial markets this morning from investment writer, Tony Cross.

#1. Reckitt’s revenue growth for full year revised up

Q1 numbers from Reckitt Benckiser LON:RKT are out this morning, with the company seeing 5.3% growth in pricing and an 0.3% expansion in volumes to deliver a LFL increase of 5.6%. The hygiene division has perhaps understandably struggled as the shadow of COVID becomes a little less defined, but this has been more than offset by significant upticks in the health and nutrition sectors. This has made for a strong start to the year and management now suggest that net revenue growth for the 12 months will be towards the upper end of previously stated guidance of 1-4%.

#2. AO sales slip, results delayed

A full year trading update to 31st March from the electrical retailer [LON:AO] notes a very strong performance from pre-COVID levels, although there has been a degree of slowing from the 2020-21 figures as economies have opened whilst supply chain challenges also played a role in the second half of the year. The company also faces higher than normal warrant cancellations as consumers react to the cost of living crisis and advises that its review into the German business remains ongoing, resulting in caution over its outlook. This is going to result in a 6-8 week delay in the publication of full year results, news that has the potential to leave at least some already wary investors itching to find a way out.

#3. NatWest Group Q1 profits smash expectations

NatWest Group LON:NWG published a Q1 Interim Management Statement today. Q1 profits rose 41%, well ahead of consensus estimates and Return on Tangible Equity advanced to 11.3% for the quarter, up from 5.6% in the preceding period. Impairment provisions have also been revised lower even though the bank acknowledges the dual impacts of rising inflation and Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. As always this is a long report – plenty more detail to be dug through.

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This article does not constitute investment advice. Make sure you do your own research or consult a professional advisor.

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