Personal healthcare manufacturer PZ Cussons has registered a 9.6 per cent decline in profit after subsidiary Carex reported an easing of demand for personal hygiene products.
In the half year ended 30 November, the group’s adjusted operating profit went down to £32.9m while sales slumped 9.3 per cent to £283.7m. Earnings per share also dropped 15.4 per cent, from 6.67p to 5.64p.
“The Q1 revenue decline was driven primarily by Carex lapping unprecedented demand for Hygiene products at the peak of the COVID-19 pandemic in the prior year,” commented PZ Cussons’ boss Jonathan Myers.
Following a 10 per cent growth of Must Win brands in the second quarter, the company saw profits almost double from £14.2m to £27.9m, registering also a 79.5 per cent jump in basic earnings per share.
“These results demonstrate our ability to use the strength of our brands to protect margins in the face of cost headwinds,” said Myers.
PZ Cussons’ board has maintained its interim dividend at 2.67p, in line with the prior year, to reflect the group’s confidence in the business momentum while taking into consideration financial and demand headwinds.
“Commodity and freight costs show no sign of abating in the near term and we continue to anticipate cost pressures into FY23,” he added. “Our focus is on both protecting our margins but also continuing to invest in the business, to secure future growth and build the capabilities we need to deliver against our strategy.”