- Reckitt Benckiser Group posted a 1% increase in like-for-like sales in the first quarter, but said the slow start had been expected and left its full-year revenue target unchanged.

Total like-for-like sales grew 1% to £3.16bn while total health sales were flat at £1.9bn.

The manufacturer of Nurofen, Strepsils and Durex said its health business unit was impacted by the "unusually weak" cold and flu season across US and several European markets.

The company's OTC category declined on an like-for-like basis by 9% in in the first quarter, driven primarily by seasonal factors, associated retailer destocking and some share loss in Mucinex to private label competition.

However, at the end of the quarter, the company said it saw increased incidences of cold and flu in March, improved share performance, and retailer stocks back in line with consumer offtake.

Looking forward, however, the company said it expected to see "improving growth" in the remainder of the year, particularly in the second half.

It also added that it remained "on track" to deliver its full-year net revenue target of an increase of 3-4% in like-for-like revenue with growth weighted to the second half.

The company's Hygiene Home unit grew 3% to £1.2bn driven by strong performances at Finish, Vanish, Harpic and Veja, which helped offset some weakness in Air Wick and Lysol, which faced tough comparators, the company said.

At 8:30am: [LON:RB.] Reckitt Benckiser Group PLC share price was -116p at 6014p

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