Questor: the potential to grow margins makes Reckitt stand out. Keep buying

The company’s online sales have grown by more than 85pc over the past two years and now account for 12pc of the total. They are expected to double as a proportion of total revenue within five years. As a result, Reckitt is in a good position to adapt to evolving consumer spending habits.

In terms of income, the stock’s 2.8pc dividend yield lags that of the FTSE 100 by half a percentage point. It plans to maintain the dividend per share at current levels until it is covered twice by net profits. 

Since it was covered 1.7 times in 2021, dividend growth could be a medium-term aspiration – albeit one that is likely to benefit from its plan to grow dividends in line with net profits once the minimum coverage requirement has been met.

Reckitt’s shares have risen by less than 1pc since our buy recommendation in March last year. Over the same period the FTSE 100 has gained 13pc. While this is clearly a disappointing relative return, Questor retains its upbeat view of the company’s long-term prospects.

Its wide range of strong brands puts it in a better position than most businesses to overcome a period of high inflation. Further investment in product innovation and e-commerce, alongside mergers and acquisitions activity and asset sales, should improve its growth potential.

As a result, we retain our buy recommendation on a long-term view.

Questor says: buy

Ticker: RKT

Share price at close: £61.38

Read the latest Questor column on telegraph.co.uk every Sunday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday and Friday from 5am.

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