PZ Cussons Plc issued an interim management statement that covers the period from June 1, 2013 to September 24, 2013. The board as pleased to announce the performance of the company during the period has been in line with management expectations, and its financial position remains strong with cash generation during the period also in line with management expectations.
In the U.K., trading in PZ Cussons’ washing and bathing division has been robust with new product launches proving successful. During the quarter, Imperial Leather was relaunched with new imagery including a new fragrance selection across its premium Foamburst shower range. Cussons Mum & Me, the range of products for mothers and babies, also was extended with a new range of products for young children under the Little Explorers sub-brand.
In the beauty division, all four brands have performed well, with St Tropez being boosted by the appointment of Kate Moss as brand ambassador at the start of the summer. Further new product launches for both U.K. and international markets are planned during the remainder of the calendar year.
In Poland, performance has been strong both in home care and personal care, and merger control clearance for the sale of the home care brands is anticipated shortly. Trading in Greece was at similar levels to the prior year.
In Asia, the positive momentum in Indonesia has continued across the baby care and non-baby care ranges, although further weakening of the rupiah is impacting results. Similarly in Australia, while performance in home care and personal care has been robust, the weakening of the Australian dollar is also impacting results.
For Africa, the market in Nigeria, despite unrest continuing in the north, saw positive growth momentum into the first quarter of the year, which is traditionally low season in the country. New product launches are also planned over the coming months across all categories. And the palm oil refinery, constructed as part of the joint venture with Wilmar, continues to increase production levels on a monthly basis. A new consumer brand, Mamador, was launched during the quarter with products in multiple sizes and formats.
For its outlook, PZ Cussons note that, while the trading environment in most markets remains challenging, brand renovation and innovation is driving organic growth across the group, enhanced by the acquisition of food brand Rafferty’s Garden. Margin improvement projects also continue in all markets while raw material costs remain broadly flat.