Consumer products company PZ Cussons PLC on Tuesday said its pretax profit edged slightly higher in the first half despite a dip in revenue, as it dealt with a drag on its results from a tough trading environment in Nigeria and a hit from currency weakness in Asia and Africa.
The company, which makes Imperial Leather and Carex amongst a range of personal care, homecare, food and electricals products, said its pretax profit for the six months to the end of November rose to GBP40.0 million from GBP39.7 million.
Revenue dipped to GBP385.9 million from GBP386.7 million, with a good performance in Europe somewhat offset by tough conditions in Nigeria, a key market for the company, where disposable income has been hit by weak economic conditions.
PZ Cussons posted good revenue growth in Indonesia and Australia, though this was held back by weak currencies, while its UK washing and bathing division performed well and its beauty arm was helped by new products in the St Tropez self-tanning and Sanctuary product lines.
The group will pay a flat interim dividend of 2.61 pence per share.
“These are a steady set of results in what have been challenging markets with overall revenue and profitability broadly flat versus the comparative period. A strong performance in Europe has offset a more difficult trading environment in Nigeria and the impact of weaker currencies in both Asia and Africa,” said Chairman Richard Harvey.
“Looking through the short-term challenges in Nigeria, we remain confident about the medium and long term opportunities which should begin to materialise once growth returns to that economy,” he added.