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PZ Cussons profit falls amid Nigeria, UK weakness

By Michele Maatouk

Date: Tuesday 28 Jan 2020

PZ Cussons profit falls amid Nigeria, UK weakness

(Sharecast News) - Imperial Leather maker PZ Cussons posted a drop in adjusted first-half profit on Tuesday as it pointed to continued weakness in Nigeria and challenges on the UK high street.
In the six months to 30 November, adjusted pre-tax profit fell 13.1% to £28m as revenue declined 4.3% to £293.3m amid "challenging" conditions across its key geographies.

In Europe and the Americas, revenue fell 4.7%, reflecting continuing consumer uncertainty, trading down to private label in hand wash and "well-documented" challenges in the UK high street, it said.

In Nigeria, a "challenging" economy resulted in continued weakness in mass market Home and Personal Care sales, with regional revenue down 4.4% lower.

The interim dividend was held at 2.67p a share.

Chair Caroline Silver said: "The group's adjusted results for the first half of the year were impacted by challenging market conditions across our key geographies.

"We were pleased to see that the performance of our focus brands was stable overall compared to prior year. Our investment remains targeted towards these focus brands and this will continue in the second half of the year. We have started to restructure our portfolio of activities, disposing of our business in Greece and agreeing the sale of our Polish brand. Further portfolio reshaping is underway and initiatives to improve our operating efficiency are being implemented at pace."

The company said it expects a stronger second-half pre-tax profit "subject to no further worsening of the economic and trading environments" across its geographies. However, full-year revenue and pre-tax profit will be "modestly" below the previous year.

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