Consumer goods producer Reckitt Benckiser was the worst performer on the FTSE 100 on Monday after the company reported flat like-for-like revenue growth in 2017.
While total revenues rose 15% on a constant currency basis to £11.5bn, the company, whose brands include Gaviscon, Dettol and Nurofen, saw no growth from operations with comparable figures from the previous year.
While the company reported some improvement in fourth-quarter like-for-like sales - up 2% - and strong free cash flow of £2.129bn - prompting a dividend proposal of 97.7p a share, up from last year's 95p, the results failed to measure up to market expectations.
Full-year financial highlights
- Like-for-like results unless otherwise stated:
- Adjusted operating profit rose 12% to £3,122bn
- Adjusted net income rose 4% to £2.253bn
- Diluted adjusted earnings per share (EPS) rose 10% 316.9p
- Adjusted net income from total operations rose 1% to £2.308bn
- Diluted adjusted EPS from total operations rose 7% to 324.6p
The company said that for 2018 it was targeting total revenue growth of between 13%-14% and "moderate" margin expansion.
Rakesh Kapoor, chief executive (left), said: "2017 was a significant year in RB's journey to become a global leader in consumer health.
"We returned to growth after a solid finish to the year, our acquisition of MJN is firmly on track and the creation of two business units - RB Health and RB Hygiene Home - will drive long-term growth."
Graham Spooner, investment research analyst at The Share Centre, said "Shareholders of Reckitt Benckiser may be reaching for some Nurofen this morning after shares in the headache provider’s owner fell in early morning trading following the posting of its full year results.
"This decline follows a relatively underwhelming share price performance over the last 9 months which has seen the shares fall off 20% over the period.
"We have long been fans of the company for the lower risk investor, despite its high rating and comparatively low yield and we believe that the fall off in the share price could provide investors with a more attractive entry point."
By mid morning in London, the shares were down 6.42% to £61.46.