Cussons reports high demand for Imperial Leather

Manchester-based soaps and consumer products company PZ Cussons said on Thursday it is experiencing “exceptionally high demand” for its Carex hand wash and sanitiser gel products and its Imperial Leather soap brand amid the coronavirus crisis.

In a trading update for its third quarter ended February 29, 2020, Cussons said however that its beauty products business including fake tan St Tropez “has been severely impacted” by the crisis.

“St Tropez has been hit hard by the social distancing measures in place in the UK, US and across Europe,” said Cussons.

“Our significant marketing activities planned for Q4 have been cancelled and we expect this business to be slow to recover. 

“Our other beauty brands have also been adversely impacted with the focus of retailers at this time on hygiene and personal care and the closure of hair salons.”

Cussons, which has appointed a new CEO, Jonathan Myers, to start on May 1, said its overall revenue in the quarter declined against last year “albeit at a reduced rate compared” to the first half of the year.

“Key markets continued to be impacted by consumer fragility, and towards the end of the period, the start of Covid-19 pandemic,” said Cussons.

“Balance sheet remained strong, with net debt of £116m versus £183m at the same time last year, and headroom of £147m under our committed bank facilities …

“Impact of Covid-19 continues to be significant, although varies depending on business unit and market.

“Our full year profit guidance remains within consensus range, albeit at the lower end.”

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