Haleon FY23 results: VMS brands Centrum, Caltrate gain shares in declining market, says CEO

By Tingmin Koe

- Last updated on GMT

Centrum supplements for men, women, and the seniors.
Centrum supplements for men, women, and the seniors.

Related tags Haleon centrum caltrate Emergen-C

Haleon says that its vitamins minerals supplements (VMS) portfolio has gained shares in an overall declining market in FY23, led by growth in its core VMS brands Centrum, Caltrate, and Emergen-C, with the CEO saying that the firm is “optimistic” on the category.

In its FY23 annual results announced on February 29, the London stock exchange-listed company said that its VMS portfolio saw a 2.1 per cent decline in revenue on a reported basis to £1.640 bn (US$2.076).

Centrum, Caltrate, and Emergen-C are the three core VMS brands for the company.

Centrum was said to have delivered mid-single digit growth for the year and the company expects to benefit from new scientific findings coming out of its COSMOS study. 

The study, which consisted of three third party clinical studies,​ demonstrated that daily supplementation of a cocoa extract and multivitamin could improve memory and slow down age-related cognitive decline in adults 65 years old and above.

Following which, Haleon has activated the claim on its Centrum Silver product and has seen market share gains across US and China, said CEO Brian McNamara.

“We are seeing that really drive differentiation in the marketplace. We are excited about those things where we can really make a difference in VMS,” ​he said.

In response to analysts’ queries, he highlighted that while the overall VMS market has returned to normalisation post-COVID spikes, Haleon’s core VMS brands such as Centrum, Caltrate, and Emergen C have managed to gain shares in a declining market.

“We continue to see a more normalisation of that category...You see that Caltrate and Centrum have done quite well. And frankly, Emergen C has won share. Now they won share in a declining market, and we are seeing that stabilise as we get towards the end of the year.

“But we continue to be optimistic on this category. I am not going to give any specific guidance for next year on it. But we think the category overall will get back to more pre-COVID growth levels,” ​he said.

Citing market share data from IQVIA, IRI, and Nielsen, CFO Tobias Hestler said that both Centrum and Caltrate had snapped greater market shares for the past year.

For instance, Caltrate had grown at more than 10 per cent, while the overall market had expanded at less than five per cent.

Similarly, Centrum grew at more than five per cent while the market grew at about five per cent.

“As you know, our VMS performance this year has been negatively impacted by softness in the immunity category.

“Here you can see how our three largest VMS brands, which account for over 85 per cent of the category, are performing vs the market. Both Centrum and Caltrate are performing strongly and ahead of the market. Emergen-C declined but gained share in a declining market. We are well positioned for future growth in this category,” ​said Hestler.

Overall, Haleon’s revenue for FY23 was up 4.1 per cent to £11.3bn (US$14.3bn). Adjusted operating profit had increased 10.4 per cent to £2.55bn (US$3.34bn).

A breakdown shows that its emerging markets accounted for a third of revenue and delivered growth of 14.5 per cent, including double digit growth in China and high single digit growth in India.

Developed markets, which accounted for 67 per cent of total revenue saw 4.9 per cent growth last year.

Total revenue from Asia-Pacific was £2.56bn (US$3.24bn), up 3.6 per cent on a reported basis.

Bringing Centrum offline in India

Centrum will be introduced to brick-and-mortar stores across India, following its debut in the country via e-commerce about 1.5 years ago.

According to the company, Centrum is already the number one multivitamin brand on Amazon India in terms of revenue.

At the same time, the company is transitioning to a new distribution model following the termination of the sales and distribution agreement with Hindustan Unilever Limited towards the end of the year. Offline, Haleon is already selling products such as oral care brand Sensodyne.

“On India, first of all, I think the shift and the change in the business model, building up our own sales forces and getting out of the distribution deal with Unilever worked very well.

“Of course, this is a heavy, heavy undertaking and you always have a small wobble here or there, but I think the team has landed that very, very well.

“As a result, shifting all that over, probably sales growth and sales growth into the distribution channel was a little bit lower in Q4 than what you would normally see. But from a sell-out perspective, the business is doing well and the numbers for the year where I think we are close to double-digit,” ​said Hestler on India.

Caltrate in China

In China, Caltrate has partnered with the Chinese government on a Bone Health Programme, with in-store testing and online training for healthcare professional.

The programme has expanded to 90 cities, 593 hospitals, and 736 pharmacies last year.

Caltrate is also Haleon’s largest VMS brand in China.

Shopper insights

Haleon said it has continued to invest in its shopper insights initiatives.

In Asia-Pacific, for example, the firm has invested in mini shopper science lab facilities and has four of these complementing the main facility in Singapore to strengthen insights on shopper and consumer understanding.

In FY23, e-commerce continued to grow for the firm, with its two largest markets US and China delivering growth of 15 per cent and 19 per cent respectively.

Improved content, optimised media, increased investment in high traffic events as well as refreshed ‘brand stores’ have contributed to growth.

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