Haleon is feeling in rude health after the flu season
Comment of the Day

April 24 2023

Commentary by Eoin Treacy

Haleon is feeling in rude health after the flu season

This article from The Times may be of interest to subscribers. Here is a section:

Haleon was demerged last July in the largest London stock market listing in more than a decade. It is the first listed company to be focused purely on consumer health and its product portfolio spans oral and respiratory health, digestive health, pain relief and vitamins, minerals and supplements.

In an update, it said that sales within its respiratory health unit had jumped by 39 per cent to £510 million in the first quarter to March 31. Oral health sales rose by 9.4 per cent to £811 million, pain relief sales increased by 14 per cent to £724 million and sales of digestive health and other products climbed by 11.9 per cent to £536 million. Only its sales of vitamins, minerals and supplements were flat, at £405 million, leaving total revenue for the quarter up 13.7 per cent at £2.99 billion.

Haleon said the pressure on its vitamins, minerals and supplements unit was “largely” because of a strong quarter for its Emergen-C supplement brand during the coronavirus wave in early 2022. Sales had risen at a double-digit pace in Europe, the Middle East and Asia, Latin America and Asia Pacific, it said. Trading in the Asia Pacific region had been boosted “by strength in China, particularly in pain relief as lockdowns ended, combined with elevated Covid-19 and cold and flu incidence”.

Eoin Treacy's view

Several years ago a delegate at The Chart Seminar recounted how his family had the rights to import and sell several large international brands in Peru. He said it was clear from the pattern of sales that the commodity boom was ending in 2011. He also said that during the years when the Dollar was weak, demand for premium imported brands surged.

That’s an important reminder that the consumer goods companies were among the best performers in the bull market between 2001 and 2008. They are typically viewed as mature businesses with solid cashflows but boring growth prospects. The time when growth rates surged was when the Dollar trended lower. That boosted the outlook for emerging market currencies as well as commodities. That lifted at least a billion people out of poverty.

Haleon exceeded its IPO price last week for the first time.

Unilever has rallied to break a three-year downtrend.

Reckitt Benckiser has been in a volatile congestion area since 2017. Within that range there are several areas where resistance has been encountered. The share is currently testing the first of those at the 6500p level.

Beiersdorf broke out to new all-time highs in March and is somewhat overbought in the short term. Nevertheless, that is an impressive breakout.

The underperformance of the S&P500 Consumer Discretionary Index highlights the distortion of both Amazon and Tesla. 

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