Nigerian instability weighs on sales at soap-maker PZ Cussons

 
Adam Hignett
REVENUE at PZ Cussons tumbled 10.4 per cent to £387m in the six months to 30 November 2014, compared to the year before.

Falling revenue had an adverse effect on pre-tax profits which were down 7.9 per cent in the same period to £40m.

Revenues were particularly hit by the firm’s exposure to Nigeria which has suffered from high levels of disruption during the period caused by unrest in the north of the country as well as a weakening of the Naira.

The company raised its dividend 3.2 per cent to 2.6p per share after basic earnings per share saw a two per cent fall during the period.

Chairman Richard Harvey said: “These are good results in what have been difficult markets.”

“The macro environment in Nigeria for the remainder of the financial year will be a key factor to the overall result for the full year.”

The company said its sales performance reflects the loss of contribution of £34m in revenue and £3.4m in operating profit from prior year disposals. Adjusting for acquisitions, disposals and the negative exchange impact from translation, revenue growth came in at 1.5 per cent.

The firm incurred exceptional costs of £4m in the period.

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