Wednesday 23 September 2020 8:26 am

Pandemic provides mixed results for Imperial Leather maker PZ Cussons

PZ Cussons said the coronavirus pandemic had been beneficial for its soap-making business thanks to increased hand-washing, but that its beauty division had faced some difficulties.

Revenue for its first quarter rose 23 per cent, it said today, but overall for the 12 months to the end of August, profit fell 14 per cent.

Sales of beauty products such as St Tropez fake tan were hampered by lockdown measures and travel restrictions, as more people stayed home.

PZ Cussons, which also makes Carex soap, said it expects the volatility and risk of the pandemic to continue, and has begun preparations to embark on a multi-year turnaround plan.

“The first quarter results have given us a good start to the year with growth in all three regions and an improvement in profitability,” said chief executive Jonathan Myers.

“The operating landscape remains highly volatile with many of the economies we operate in moving into recession, the continuing uncertainty of the Covid-19 pandemic and categories remaining highly competitive with pressure on discounting and cost.

“While it remains very difficult to forecast and give guidance we expect some adverse headwinds for the rest of the year following this good start.”

The company said Carex had continued to be its strongest performing product in the UK, while sales of shower gels Original Source and Imperial Leather declined.

PZ Cussons’ share price fell 2.8 per cent as markets opened.