Strong China demand for bone, joint supplement drives Caltrate to double-digit growth in Q1

By Tingmin Koe

- Last updated on GMT

Caltrate's range of bone and muscle health supplements.
Caltrate's range of bone and muscle health supplements.

Related tags caltrate Haleon centrum

Caltrate, the bone and joint health supplement brand from Haleon, has reported double-digit revenue growth in Q1 largely due to strong demand from China.

In the first quarter of 2024, Haleon’s Vitamin and Mineral Supplements (VMS) organic revenue was up 9.9 per cent to £422m (US$529.74m), the company said in its financial results released on May 1.

All three flagship VMS brands, Caltrate, multivitamin brands Centrum and Emergen-C, were said to have delivered good growth.  

Of note is the continued strong demand for Caltrate in China.

“VMS revenue grew 9.9 per cent, continuing the momentum from Q4 2023 and demonstrating our brands remain well positioned and continue to outperform. Caltrate was up double digit, with strong growth in China,”​ Tobias Hestler, Chief Financial Officer said in response to analysts’ queries at the Q&A session.

Unlike its other markets, Haleon’s largest VMS brand in China is Caltrate, reflecting how bone and joint health, as well as calcium supplements, are of higher demand in the country.

The increased consumption of Caltrate in China also pushed Haleon’s VMS revenue in Asia-Pacific up by high-single digit, said Haleon, without sharing detailed figures.  

In Q4 last year, Caltrate’s revenue in Asia-Pacific climbed mid-single digit higher than the same time in 2022, again due to strong China demand.

Elsewhere in North America, it was Centrum and Emergen-C that drove revenue up by high-single digit and mid-single digit respectively.

According to the company, the growth was supported by new pricing and innovation, such as the use of cognitive function claims for Centrum Silver.

Emergen-C also gained market shares and outperformed the immunity category in the US.  

“The drag from Emergen-C on the vitamin C category has now ended. All the three brands are going well. We got a little bit of help in China with a competitor that had some supply issues, so the team was able to capitalise on that.

“But, in aggregate, I think really good performance. And it is a mid-single-digit growth category that we are playing in, and we are outperforming that category, and that is where we would love to see that,”​ said Hestler during the Q&A session.

Haleon’s total Q1 revenue from all its portfolio across VMS, oral, pain, respiratory, digestive health, and pain relief reported an organic growth of three per cent to £2.9bn (US$3.64bn).

Asia-Pacific remained its smallest market, with revenue of £682m, up 3.3 per cent. This is followed by the US at £996m (US$1.25bn) which shrunk 3.3 per cent, and EMEA and LATAM increased 8.6 per cent to £1.24bn. (US$1.56bn).

“First quarter trading was solid and in line with guidance shared when we reported FY 2023 results. Organic revenue growth of 3.0 per cent was impacted by lapping tough comparatives in the prior year particularly in respiratory health and pain relief.

“Strong innovation combined with successful execution of our go-to-market strategy underpinned performance in our power brands which grew 5.2 per cent, with particularly strong performance in our oral health and VMS portfolio,”​ said CEO Brian McNamara.

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