Household products conglomerate Reckitt Benckiser is accelerating plans for a worldwide reform of its product portfolio to concentrate on fifteen “power brands”.

The strategy will build up a single global brand in each of the group’s product categories, spelling the scrapheap for some successful regional marques such as the Wizard air care range in North America.

It has not yet been decided which brand in each category will be turned into the global player.

“In some cases it is clear cut,” revealed chief executive Bart Brecht. “But in other cases, such as automatic dishwashing products [where Reckitt owns Finish and Calgonit], there is more of a debate.”

The group believes harmonising its global line-up will save money and facilitate the swift launch of new products in different markets. It wants to raise the share of total revenues generated by the high-flying fifteen from the current 40% to 50% by 2005.

The news came as Reckitt unveiled sales of £3.44 billion for 2001, up 7% on the year before. Boosted by a cost-cutting programme, operating and pre-tax profits rose 16% (to £525 million) and 11% (to £498m) respectively.

Data sourced from: Financial Times; additional content by WARC staff