UPDATE 1-Reckitt Benckiser reports sales gain, stands by full-year goal
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LONDON, April 24 (Reuters) - Britain's Reckitt Benckiser Group reported higher quarterly sales on Friday, helped by growth across all regions, and stood by its full-year target.
The results beat some analysts' expectations, and provided more evidence that the consumer goods sector is moving past some of the troubles it saw in 2014 when a slowdown in emerging markets crimped demand for everything from soup to soap.
The maker of Durex condoms, Mucinex cold medicine and other goods said sales rose 1 percent to 2.22 billion pounds ($3.34 billion) in the first quarter.
Sales rose 5 percent on a like-for-like basis, which excludes the impact of currency, acquisitions, disposals and discontinued operations. Analysts on average had been expecting growth of 3.9 percent, according to analysts at Bernstein.
Like-for-like sales rose 3 percent in North America, helped by a strong flu season. Sales rose 6 percent in developing markets, helped by improvements in India, partially offset by weakness in Brazil.
Reckitt said it was on track to meet its full-year goals for 4 percent like-for-like sales growth and "moderate to nice" operating margin expansion.
($1 = 0.6640 pounds) (Reporting by Martinne Geller; Editing by Jason Neely and Mark Potter)
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