PZ Cussons on track to meet forecasts despite Nigeria woes

Nigeria is the largest market for soap and consumer retail goods company PZ Cussons
PZ CUSSONS said yesterday that it remains on track to meet full-year expectations despite turmoil in its biggest market, Nigeria.

The owner of Imperial Leather soap sells a wide variety of consu­mer goods in Nigeria, Africa’s largest economy, which makes up over a third of its operating profits.

However, falling oil prices, which in turn forced the government to devalue its currency, hit group’s operating profits in the first half of the year.

The Ebola outbreak and the disruption from terrorist groups in the north of Nigeria also impacted on trading in the country. PZ Cussons said its performance since the end of January was “in line with expectations” and that the naira exchange rate was stable.

It added that trading had returned to normal after losing some trading days during the presidential election on 31 March, when former President of Nigeria Goodluck Jonathan was defeated by Muhammadu Buhari.

Analysts Shore Capital left its pre-tax profit forecast unchanged for the year to 31 May at £109.5m compared with £115m the previous year.