PZ Cussons profit boosted by growth in Britain and Nigeria

City A.M. Reporter
PZ Cussons, the maker of Imperial Leather soaps, said yesterday that full-year profit rose 16.5 per cent to £107.5m, helped by growth in the UK, Indonesia and Nigeria.

The British soap and shampoo maker said lower sales in the first half of the year in Nigeria – its largest market – were offset by a strong showing in the south of the country in the second half.

Sales in Africa were hurt last year because of social unrest in the north of Nigeria and the scrapping of a fuel subsidy in the country. Yet operating profit in Africa, which accounts for about 40 per cent of its business, rose 11.6 per cent.

PZ Cussons said it was launching a limited edition range of mother and baby products called Ma’am and Me to mark this week’s birth of Britain’s new prince.

“We are not quantifying, but it will have a positive effect on sales,” finance director Brandon Leigh said.

In Asia, sales rose 8.23 per cent, helped by the restructuring of its business in Australia. Total full-year sales rose 2.8 per cent to £883.2m.