Cussons revenue falls to £689m amid Nigeria woes

Manchester-based soaps and consumer products company PZ Cussons said on Tuesday its revenue fell 6.8% to £689.4 million and adjusted profit before tax fell 12.9% to £69.8 million in the year ended May 31, 2019.

Cussons chair Caroline Silver said the fall in profit reflected “negative impact of the extremely tough macroeconomic conditions in Nigeria, which has historically been a key profit driver.”

Silver said: “The group’s results for the year were mixed.

“A combination of solid performances in Europe & the Americas,  with strong growth in the beauty business unit and Asia Pacific, compared with very disappointing results in Africa.

“As we anticipated at the half year, the adjusted profit before tax of £69.8m reflects the negative impact of the extremely tough macroeconomic conditions in Nigeria, which has historically been a key profit driver.

“We cannot rely upon short term economic conditions improving markedly in our key markets and are therefore taking action to reposition the group to return to profitable growth.

“We have today announced a new strategy, built around Focus, Scale and Accelerate. 

“Our resources and investment will be prioritised behind key categories and brands in only those geographies offering the clearest opportunities in order to return the group to sustainable, profitable growth.

“Our cost base will be tightly managed and we will act at pace. The results from this will not be immediate, but we expect 2019/20 to be an important transitional year.

“With good free cash flow and confidence in our new strategy, the board is recommending a final dividend of 5.61p (2018: 5.61p) per share, making a total of 8.28p (2018: 8.28p) per share for the year in line with prior year.

“The overall dividend remains approximately 1.5 times covered by adjusted earnings per share.

“Subject to approval at the AGM, the final dividend will be paid on 3 October 2019 to shareholders on the register at the close of business on 9 August 2019.”

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