Baby formula, a business that Reckitt was trying to exit not long ago, carried the company to good quarterly results.
Reckitt posted a sales gain of 12%, to $4.2 billion, for the second quarter compared with the same period last year. Leading the way was sales of Enfamil baby formula, which shot up 27% year-over-year.
Selling the baby-formula business reportedly was a goal of Reckitt’s management, which came on board after the 2017 purchase of Mead Johnson brought formula into Reckitt’s product portfolio. The shortage of formula that the nation has been dealing with since the closure of an Abbott Laboratories plant in Michigan has put those plans on hold. Reckitt stepped up U.S. production and imported formula from overseas plants to help fill the gap.
However, baby formula may not fit into Reckitt’s long-term plans. It’s seen as having less growth potential than the company’s other medicinal or health care products.