GSK Consumer Healthcare to be renamed Haleon after demerger

GSK Consumer Healthcare business plans to rebrand to Haleon after its demerger from GlaxoSmithKline.

The new name, pronounced ‘hay-lee-on,’ has been created by merging the words ‘hale’ meaning in good health and ‘leon’, which is associated with strength. According to GSK, the new brand identity was created with input from employees, healthcare practitioners and consumers. It will be deployed in more than 100 markets globally.

Haleon will encompass a portfolio of international brands including Sensodyne, Voltaren and Panadol.

“Introducing Haleon to the world marks another step in our journey to become a new, standalone company,” says Haleon CEO designate Brian McNamara.

“Our name is grounded in our purpose to deliver better everyday health with humanity and to be a world-leader in consumer healthcare. We are on track to launch Haleon in mid-2022 and our business momentum is strong.”

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GSK CEO Emma Walmsley says Haleon brings to life years of hard work to build a new company dedicated to everyday health, adding: “Haleon has enormous potential to improve health and wellbeing across the world with strong prospects for growth and through listing will unlock significant value for GSK shareholders.”

Earlier this month the company confirmed that Tamara Rogers will retain her role as CMO of Haleon after the demerger. Rogers oversaw last year’s introduction of a new purpose-driven brand strategy for the consumer healthcare business. The ‘Brands with Humanity’ strategy sought to bridge the gap between selling products and solving problems by using what GSK described as a more compassionate, data-driven approach.

The process of demerging Haleon and establishing it as a new company is expected to be completed by mid-2022.

In January it was revealed GSK had rejected a £50bn bid from Unilever, despite the FMCG giant claiming a potential acquisition would be a “strong strategic fit”, combining its “consumer and branding expertise” with GSK’s technical capabilities.

Haleon has enormous potential to improve health and wellbeing across the world with strong prospects for growth.

Emma Walmsley, GSK

Detail on the overall strategy, capabilities and “superior growth ambitions” of the Haleon business are set to be made public on 28 February.

Turnover in the consumer healthcare business over the 2021 full year hit £9.6bn, compared to turnover of £17.7bn in the pharmaceutical division. On a two-year basis, consumer healthcare sales excluding brands divested under review grew 4% overall, despite the adverse impact of the pandemic.

The consumer healthcare division made an operating profit of £2.2bn, which GSK says reflected sales growth of continuing brands, price increases and tight cost control, partially offset by the impact of divestments, increased advertising and promotion investment, rising commodity and freight costs and investment in manufacturing sites.

The business pointed to the “underlying strength” of its consumer-facing brands and continuing growth in ecommerce. Oral health is the company’s biggest consumer healthcare division, notching up sales of £2.7bn over the past year.

Sales of pain relief products reached £2.3bn over the period, with sales of vitamins, minerals and supplements reaching £1.5bn, with respiratory health sales falling to £1.1bn. Sales of GSK’s digestive health and ‘other brands’ were £1.8bn.

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