Tuesday 26 January 2021 9:00 am

PZ Cussons washes pre-pandemic struggles away as soap sales boost profits

A surge in hand washing products helped PZ Cussons shine as pandemic-led demands boosted its first-half profits.

The consumer group’s focus brands grew revenue by 21.9 per cent as overall growth reached 14.6 per cent across the world.

Carex led the way with £313m of sales, a 10 per cent increase on the previous year, with Imperial Leather soap hot on its heels.

The Manchester-based company had been facing problems before the pandemic struck, after a challenging leadership transition and difficult market conditions.

Caroline Silver, chair of PZ Cussons, said: “The organisation has been stabilised in the last twelve months with the arrival of Jonathan Myers as CEO and his new management team.

“Our fast start to this financial year was maintained with the group delivering strong growth in revenue and adjusted profit across all regions, notwithstanding increased investment in marketing and organisational capabilities.”

Read more: UBS cautious on economic outlook despite 137 per cent jump in profit

Promising figures

The company reported adjusted profit before tax of £34.9m, an 18.7 per cent jump on the previous year.

PZ Cussons’ share price has also surged to more than 240p, valuing the manufacturer at £1bn.

Its Morning Fresh, Cussons Baby and St Tropez brands also contributed to a strong comeback after lockdowns hit markets in March last year.

Jonathan Myers, CEO of PZ Cussons, said: “Our focus in the first half of this year has been to deliver a fast start for the business, with emphasis on profitable revenue growth as well as maintaining our strong balance sheet discipline.

“We saw this as essential to reset both in terms of organisational pace and agility to adapt to changing consumer and shopper habits.

“In parallel, we completed our review of the strategy to become a brand-led and consumer-focused organisation, delivering sustainable profitable growth with hygiene, baby and beauty at our core.”

Read more: Revenue halves at City Pub Group but chain eyes long-term expansion