Revenue flat at PZ Cussons with Nigeria still causing a headache

City A.M. Reporter
PZ CUSSONS, the maker of Imperial Leather soaps, said yesterday it expected to report a higher first-half profit, but was concerned about business in its key Nigerian market.

The soap and shampoo maker said profit was likely to be about 10 per cent higher, thanks to an improvement in the profitability of its Australian business and a strong performance in the UK.

Revenue during the six months to 30 November was broadly flat due to difficult trading conditions in its key Nigerian market. The group gets around 40 per cent of its revenue from Africa.

The company said continued social unrest in the north, severe floods and the removal of a fuel subsidy earlier this year impacted sales in Nigeria. However, it said margins had improved, helped by lower raw material costs.

Core brands such as Imperial Leather, Carex and Original Source had performed well in the UK in the first half, it said.

PZ Cussons said that it had taken measures to improve the performance of its Australian business. However, trading conditions in Australia remained challenging.

Retailers in Australia have devoted greater shelf space to private labels, hurting PZ Cussons’ volumes and margins in the home-care business.