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PZ Cussons Reports for Year Ended May 2012, Launches New Beauty Brands

Posted: June 14, 2012

PZ Cussons issued a trading update for the year ended May 31, 2012, confirming that performance since the last trading update has been in line with expectations.

As previously indicated, profits before exceptional items for the year are expected to be approximately 15% lower than the previous year. This reflects a robust performance in the U.K., strong trading in the beauty division and positive momentum in Indonesia, more than offset by the impact of three previously identified factors: approximately £25 million of increased costs from the significant year-on-year raw material cost inflation; a worsening trading environment in the Australian home care category; and the well-publicized social and economic tensions in Nigeria. The major supply chain optimization project, announced in March, is on track and the benefits will begin to be seen in the new financial year.

Overall, despite the uncertainty in certain key markets, the company remains confident that it will return to profitable growth in the new financial year.

Specifically in Europe, the U.K. washing and bathing division has produced a robust performance, despite challenging retail trading conditions as a result of the promotional environment and weak consumer demand. The company's focus on brand innovation and renovation across the portfolio of Imperial Leather, Carex and Original Source continues, and PZ Cussons also is pleased to announce the launch of a new brand, Cussons Mum & Me, a range of personal care products specifically designed for mothers and babies. The range caters for the three life stages of bump, new mum and baby, and will be available in full U.K. national distribution by the end of July.

The beauty division has continued to perform well both in the U.K. and overseas, with particularly strong growth from St. Tropez in the U.S. An exciting development for the Sanctuary brand is this month’s launch of a new range of skin care products called Active Reverse, with ballet star Darcey Bussell as a brand ambassador. The Fudge hair care brand, acquired in January, has performed well post acquisition with its integration into the division now complete. Also, trading in Poland has been strong while the trading environment in Greece remains extremely difficult due to the challenging political and economic environment.