Cussons warns of earnings hit from Nigeria

City A.M. Reporter
SOAP and shampoo maker PZ Cussons has issued a second profit warning in less than four months, blaming a hit to sales from social unrest in Nigeria, its biggest single market.

Shares in the maker of Imperial Leather soaps and Carex anti-bacterial hand washes fell by more than 10 per cent yesterday after it said profits in Nigeria over the last two months had been affected by ongoing economic and social tensions.

Nigeria, Africa’s most populous country, accounts for 30 to 40 per cent of PZ Cussons’ total revenue.

“Given the importance of Nigeria to the group, the impact of the continuing tensions in the country will be significant, resulting in the group’s overall performance being some way below expectations,” the firm said.

PZ Cussons highlighted the continuation of social instability in northern Nigeria, which has directly impacted sales, and the removal of a fuel duty subsidy in January that has hit consumers’ disposable income and led to higher transport costs and port disruption, affecting both sales and costs.

PZ Cussons first warned of problems in Nigeria in January. It said trading in all its other markets in Europe and Asia had been in line with management expectations.