The maker of Dettol said the cyber attack had disrupted production and deliveries of goods © RB New Zealand
The maker of Dettol said the cyber attack had disrupted production and deliveries of goods © RB New Zealand

Cyber attack could cost Reckitt Benckiser £100m

6 July 2017

Consumer goods giant Reckitt Benckiser, maker of Dettol disinfectant and Durex condoms, has issued a sales warning after a global cyber attack, which could cost the company an estimated £100m in revenue.

The Slough-based company said the 'Petya' ransomware cyber attack on 27 June had disrupted production and deliveries of goods to customers in several countries.

“Consequently, we were unable to ship and invoice some orders to customers prior to the close of the quarter," the company said. 

“Some of our factories are currently still not operating normally but plans are in place to return to full operation.”

Multinational companies, including Russia’s biggest oil company Rosneft, global container shipper Maersk and advertising firm WPP, were also hit in the attack that crippled computers running Microsoft’s Windows by encrypting hard drives and overwriting files.

The attack caused computers to stop working, displaying a ransom note demanding £235 to unlock the hard drives.

Reckitt Benckiser said many of its factories run off the Windows system and it was still assessing the full extent of the attack on the company.

It added it now expects like-for-like net revenue in 2017 to increase by only 2%, down from an earlier growth forecast of 3%.

With the company making almost £10bn in revenues in 2016, the 1% loss equates to about £100m in lost revenue, according to Reuters.

Reckitt Benckiser also warned that the financial impact would extend to the full year.

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

The Petya attack follows a similar cyber attack called WannaCry, which hit several UK firms and organisations including the NHS in May. 

Read more: Procurement and cyber attacks: What you need to know

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