- The US is facing a shortage of infant formula products and is seeking to import them from the UK.
- Reckitt Benckiser has said it is working closely with the US FDA on accelerating baby formula imports.
Infant formula products have vanished from the shelves in the United States, leading to what is being termed the biggest shortage of the product across the country. The shortage erupted after US healthcare firm Abbott Laboratories recalled some of its products and closed one of its manufacturing plants following the reports of bacterial infections in four infants. Abbott is the US' biggest supplier of powder baby formula.
To relieve the shortage, the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has given its nod to import 2 million baby formula cans from the UK. The authority has said that it is easing regulations to allow British firm Kandal Nutricare to import certain products which have been evaluated for safety or nutrition concerns.
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Notably, the US government has sought to boost the supplies of infant formula products through imports from Europe. To get additional stocks, the FDA has also confirmed that it is in talks with other manufacturers as well. It added that products that demonstrate safety and are available in huge quantities will be prioritised.
In the UK, one of the companies listed on the London Stock Exchange that make baby formula is Reckitt Benckiser Group Plc (LON: RKT).
The company manufactures and distributes consumer goods in several countries across the world. It owns brands like Dettol, Air Wick, Clearasil, Enfamil, Harpic, Lysol, Veet, and Mortein, among others. On Wednesday, the company said that it is closely working with the FDA and the US Department of Agriculture (USDA) on ways to overcome the shortage of infant formula supply.
It also said that the measures include accelerating the approval of products made in its Mexico facility and also increasing the availability of the formula under the US women, infants and children program.
Reckitt Benckiser Q1 earnings
Reckitt Benckiser reported the results for the first quarter of 2022 last month in which it posted a strong start to the year. Its total net revenue for the period stood at £3,424 million, a 5.6% rise on a like-for-like basis. This includes the revenue from its hygiene, health, and nutrition divisions.
In its outlook for the full year, the company expects the like-for-like net revenue growth to be at the upper end of its earlier guidance of +1-4%.
Share price performance
The shares were trading at GBX 6,220.00, 0.16% lower, at 10:16 am GMT+1 on 25 May with a market capitalisation of £44,548.48 million.
Over the last one year, the shares of Reckitt Benckiser have given a negative return of 4% to the investors. Meanwhile, the year-to-date returns have dropped by nearly 2%.
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