In 1999, European firms Reckitt & Coleman and Benckiser combined to form Reckitt Benckiser. Based out of the United Kingdom, the company owns a portfolio of consumer products that are well-known around the globe, many of which have the leading or number-two position in their categories.
In 2017, total sales grew 21% to more than $14.8 million, making Reckitt Benckiser the top performer in sales growth among its peers (revenue growth among its peers grew an average of 6%). A big driver of that revenue growth came from its February 2017 acquisition of baby formula company Mead Johnson Nutrition, which I'll cover in more detail further on.
The company classifies itself into two main categories: Health and Hygiene Home, under which the company boasts 21 "power brands," or brands that are at the top of their category.
Under its Health segment, the company boasts industry-leading products such as Scholl footcare products, Mucinex cold and flu medicine, Clearasil acne treatment, Strepsils throat lozenges, Nurofen pain relief medication and Durex condoms. A couple of examples of the firm's market-leading products can be seen in Nurofen, which is the number-one painkiller in the United Kingdom with roughly 25% market share and is a close number two in Australia with 22% share. Mucinex is another example, as it's the number-one cough brand in the United States.
In 2017, its Health segment pulled in more than $6.5 billion in sales, accounting for about 44% of total sales. This segment will continue to see strong growth as its Mead Johnson acquisition falls under this category. And Mead Johnson's baby formula holds a near 30% market share in the United States.
Reckitt Benckiser's Hygiene Home division includes top brands like cleaning and disinfecting brand Lysol, Woolite laundry detergent, stain remover Vanish and dishwasher detergent Finish. This division generated more than $7.9 billion in sales in 2017.