Cussons expects profit ahead of consensus

Manchester-based consumer products company PZ Cussons said on Thursday it expects its adjusted profit before tax to be “ahead of the consensus and the prior year.”

The market consensus for Cussons’ profit before tax is £63 million-£64 million.

In a trading update in respect for the year ended May 31, 2021, Cussons said revenue is up 7% “with all regions and Hygiene, Baby and Beauty categories in growth.”

It said its “Must Win Brands” grew 11%.

“Unprecedented demand for our hygiene brands at the beginning of the Covid-19 pandemic is currently holding back year on year revenue comparisons and, as a result, Q4 declined versus the prior year,” said Cussons.

“However, our Must Win Brands still showed strong momentum, with Q4 growth of +7% over the two-years since FY19 …

“Current trading since the end of the financial year remains in line with management expectations.”

Cussons CEO Jonathan Myers said: “It’s been a year of solid progress at PZ Cussons.

“Despite the obvious volatility and challenges, we returned the business to revenue growth, delivered positive price / mix to improve gross margin and put our focus and investment back into building brands.

“We rolled out our new strategy – Building Brands for Life, Today and for Future Generations – and have already started to deliver against it.

However, our work has only just begun.

“In the immediate term we are lapping some exceptional demand levels from the peak months of the Covid-19 pandemic, both as we ended the last financial year and as we navigate the first quarter of this year. 

“Along with other consumer goods companies, we are dealing with commodity and other cost headwinds.

“We are accelerating price increases and strengthening Revenue Growth Management plans to mitigate the impact of these headwinds and drive up price / mix to protect gross margin and continue to invest in our brands.

In the longer term we are working to sustain the early impetus of the turnaround over the coming years.

“We have much to do but I am confident that we are building the team and the momentum to deliver this multi-year transformation.

“The commitment and determination of the PZ Cussons team around the world has been clear for me and all to see over the past year and I am grateful for their hard work.

“We have re-ignited our pioneering spirit and are ready for the challenges and opportunities ahead.”