Reckitt Benckiser warns of lower sales after Petya attack

Consumer goods giant Reckitt Benckiser has warned of lower sales this year as it recovers from the effects of the Petya cyber attack.

According to the maker of Dettol and Cillit Bang, the computer virus had disrupted its  ''ability to manufacture and distribute products to customers in multiple markets''.

Revenue for the second quarter of the year will be 2 per cent lower, due mainly to the cyberattack, although it also said it had suffered lower orders from some customers in June due to a new Goods and Services Tax in India.

According to Reckitt Benckiser, some of this lost revenue would be clawed back in the third quarter, but added that for the full year, revenue will grow at 2 per cent, lower than the 3 per cent growth it had factored in prior to the attack.

The shares of the company were down 3 per cent in early trade.

The Petya  ''ransomware'' hit computer systems across the globe last week, wreaking havoc for companies and consumers.

The ransomware caused computers to stop working, which instead displayed a ransom note demanding $300 (£235). The virus hit organisations including the Ukranian National Bank, British advertising firm WPP and logistics company Maersk.

According to the company, while the ransomware attack had now been effectively contained, it was attending to some issues which needed to be sorted out a week after it first struck.

Reckitt Benckiser said, "The attack did disrupt the company's ability to manufacture and distribute products to customers in multiple markets across the RB 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."

It added, "The continued production difficulties in some factories mean that we also expect to lose some further revenue permanently."