Cussons profit hit by margins in Europe and Africa

Manchester-based soaps and consumer products company PZ Cussons said its adjusted operating profit fell 10.3% to £37.5 million despite revenue rising 1.9% to £385.4 million in the six months to November 30.

Cussons said strong profitability in Asia was offset by reduced margins in some of its business units in Europe and Africa.

PZ Cussons chair Caroline Silver said: “In the first half of the financial year, the group has faced tough trading conditions in many of the markets in which it operates, and whilst revenue was 1.9% higher than the previous period, adjusted operating profit was 10.3% lower as a result of reduced margins in certain business units in Europe and Africa.

“Initiatives are underway to improve performance of these business units and, together with the positive momentum elsewhere in the group and in particular in Asia, provide a solid basis for improved performance in the second half of the year.

“The board has maintained the interim dividend at 2.67p per share.

“The group’s brand portfolio remains strong and, with a strong balance sheet, the Group is well placed to pursue growth opportunities.”