The sales of Dettol and Lysol products have seen a dramatic increase as the coronavirus outbreak continues to spread across the world.
While the effectiveness of the Dettol and Lysol disinfectants has not yet been scientifically proven, they are perceived to provide protection against the spread of the coronavirus, pushing their sales upward.
Dettol owner Reckitt Benckiser said the demand for Dettol-branded hand gels in China has overtaken supply. The company claimed: “We are seeing some increased demand for Dettol and Lysol products and are working to support the relevant healthcare authorities and agencies, including through donations, information and education. We do see increased activity online for our consumers in China.”
It added that the firm had “seen some disruptions to retail and distribution channels and getting products in to market”, balancing the effect of increased sales on company performance.
Reckitt Benckiser chief executive Laxman Narasimhan said: “If you look at China today, what you are seeing is that consumer traffic to store is down, but you do see activity moving to online.”
Meanwhile, online pharmacy Medino mentioned that it had also experienced an increased demand for hand sanitizer in the UK since the beginning of early February, causing some suppliers to struggle to keep up.
Superintendent pharmacist Giulia Guerrini said: “A number of these customers are not our regular buyers, rather we’re seeing new customers purchasing large quantities of hand sanitizer suggesting people are stockpiling in response to recent events.”
On the other hand, some companies have been negatively impacted by the outbreak, including luxury carmaker Aston Martin and drinks giant Anheuser-Busch InBev.
Shares in AB InBev, the world’s largest beer manufacturer, fell by 9% after it forecast slower growth in 2020, partly due to the outbreak while Aston Martin shares fell to a record low as it posted a £104 million loss before tax and warned it had seen a decline in demand due to the virus.