As social distancing relaxed, the people celebrated; leading to soaring sales for Durex.
Durex Profits from Relaxed Distancing
Over the summer, Europe celebrated the relaxed restrictions. Durex was just one of Reckitt Benckiser’s brands to experience a boom in demand. In fact, sales of “sexual wellbeing products” rose 12.6% in the last three months. After an initial dip in sales during Spring, when physical distancing was first enforced, the sweet reunions resulted in spurred sales of Durex products.
Durex reported a slump in sales during lockdowns during, what Laxman Narasimhan the chief executive of REckitt Benckiser called, a “toll on the number of intimate occasions”. With many couples separated and a global pandemic making the one-night-stand a bit less sexy, condom sales declined. Within long-term relationships, condoms are a less popular form of contraception, meaning that Durex did not hugely profit from those couples locked down together.
Not Just Condoms
Reckitt Benckiser ecnompasses many brands including Dettol & Cillit Bang. Understandably, sales of air fresheners and cleaning products rocketed as a result of the pandemic. Consumer behaviour showed an increased focus on cleanliness and hygiene. This data is unsurprising, given the increased global focus on hygiene as well as more time spent in a home-office environment. The combined increased sales helped to boost the total group sales in the last quarter by 13% to £3.5 billion compared to 2019.
Reckitt Benckiser was one of the “winners” of the COVID-19 crisis and enjoyed double-digit revenue growth. Across their household, healthcare and sexual wellbeing products, they reported a 9.5% lift in net revenue during their third quarter. Reckitt Benckiser is one of the FTSE 100 companies and was worth a reported 12.85 billion in 2019. With the unexpected success of summer, its shares rose by 1% to £73.06. Richard Hunter, head of markets at Interactive Investor, reported a 20% increase over the past year against the baseline increase of 18% across the wider index of FTSE 100 companies.
Rekindling Sex Lives
Durex was not the only “sexual wellbeing product” to experience a summertime boom. Ann Summers, amongst other sex toy and lingerie brands, reported increased sales. In fact, the lingerie tycoon said that overall sales were up 14.4% in the three months from July – September compared to 2019.
Bad News for Baby Business
However, the company suggested on Tuesday that this spring fall could have a knock-on effect on its baby formula business next year, with an expected fall in the global birth rate.