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Reckitt Benckiser blames NotPetya outbreak for £100m revenue loss that took down key applications and systems, and disrupted factories

Reckitt Benckiser, the fast-moving consumer goods giant, has warned that the fall-out from dealing with an outbreak of the NotPetya malware has knocked revenue growth in its second quarter by two per cent – and added that it might also have caused a permanent loss of revenue.

In total so far, the malware outbreak has cost Reckitt Benckiser £100m, the company has admitted today, with the consequences of taking key systems offline in order to contain the outbreak leading to lost orders and, potentially, permanently lost business.

We were unable to ship and invoice some orders to customers prior to the close of the quarter [and] some of our factories are currently still not operating normally

The news was revealed in a trading warning. “We have made good progress in getting key applications and systems back on track so we can start trading normally with all our customers and partners.

“We believe this issue has now been materially contained, and we continue to work with our IT partners to resolve remaining outstanding items,” the company claimed.

Subsidiary Mead Johnson was not affected by the outbreak, it added.

“However, the attack did disrupt the company’s ability to manufacture and distribute products to customers in multiple markets across the Reckitt Benckiser Group.

“Consequently, we were unable to ship and invoice some orders to customers prior to the close of the quarter. Some of our factories are currently still not operating normally but plans are in place to return to full operation.”

While some of the revenue losses are expected to be recovered during the third quarter, the consequences of the outbreak will mean lower than forecast like-for-like revenue growth in the current financial year.

NotPetya originated from the compromised servers of ME Doc, an accounting software company in Ukraine.

While Ukraine has been badly affected, the malware spread to a number of companies outside of the former Soviet state, including Cadbury’s, law firm DLA Piper and shipping giant Maersk.

Ukraine blames its neighbour Russia for the attack – one of a number targeting organisations and essential infrastructure in Ukraine in recent years

Reckitt Benckiser is a FTSE-100-listed company responsible for a number of the biggest brand names on supermarket shelves, both in the UK and in several territories overseas. These brands include Dettol, Harpic, Gaviscon, Cillit Bang, Clearisil and Durex.  

The company was quick to admit that it had been affected by the malware, issuing a statement the day that it happened.  

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