UPDATE 1-Reckitt Benckiser's Rakesh Kapoor to retire as CEO by end of 2019

(Adds CEO quote, details on company performance, background)

Jan 16 (Reuters) - British consumer goods maker Reckitt Benckiser Group Plc said on Wednesday Chief Executive Officer Rakesh Kapoor would retire by the end of 2019, after more than eight years at the helm and more than three decades with the company.

The maker of Durex condoms and Enfamil infant formula said it had started a formal process to appoint Kapoor's successor and was looking at both internal and external candidates.

Kapoor, who took over as top boss in September 2011, helped the firm grow from a household cleaning business to a consumer health and hygiene giant.

In 2017, the company spent $17 billion to buy U.S. baby formula maker Mead Johnson.

" ... I believe now is a good time for new leadership to take this great company through the next phase of outperformance. I will remain fully focussed on driving the business until a successor is in place," Kapoor said on Wednesday.

Last year, the FTSE 100 firm started to gather momentum after two years of disappointing results caused by a failed product launch, a cyber attack and a safety scandal in South Korea.

However, a manufacturing glitch at a Dutch factory producing baby milk hurt Reckitt Benckiser's third-quarter sales in October, the latest in a string of problems to hit the British consumer goods group. (Reporting by Noor Zainab Hussain in Bengaluru; Editing by Shounak Dasgupta)