PZ Cussons Plc announced its unaudited interim results for the six months ended November 30, 2013. Highlights for the results include revenue and operating profit growth of 4% and 6%, respectively, despite the impact of weakening Asian currencies. Also, excluding the impact of exchange rates, revenue and operating profit was, respectively, 6% and 8% higher.
Commenting on the results, PZ Cussons’ chairman Richard Harvey said, “The group has delivered a good result for the half year with growth in both revenue and profitability. This has been achieved despite a significant weakening in Asian currencies, and, in particular, the Australian dollar and Indonesian rupiah. Our performance in the U.K. has been particularly robust and growth is improving in all our categories in Nigeria. Trading conditions in all geographies remain challenging, and the group’s focus on innovation and brand development continues to ensure profitable growth is achieved in the markets and categories in which we operate. It has been particularly pleasing to see the progress of the palm oil joint venture with Wilmar with the refinery operating well and the new brands Mamador and Devon King’s being launched during the period. The acquisition of Rafferty’s Garden marked the group’s entry into the Asian food and nutrition category, and we are pleased with its performance since acquisition and are excited about its potential. Our balance sheet remains strong, and we have the appetite to pursue further investment opportunities which fit our strategic aims. I am delighted that we are declaring an interim dividend increase of 7.7%, continuing our track record of dividend growth. Our overall performance since the period end has been in line with management expectations. While the trading environment in most markets remains challenging, and, in particular, in Asia as a result of ongoing currency weakness, brand renovation and innovation continues to drive revenue and profit growth across the group.”
For its Africa business, PZ Cussons reported revenue and operating profit growth in Nigeria across all categories and a trading environment slightly improved in the north of Nigeria despite ongoing disruption.
In Asia, underlying performance in Australia and Indonesia was strong despite significant weakening in exchange rates. And the company saw continued expansion during the period of its Asian brand portfolio into neighboring geographies.
For Europe, the company saw robust performance in its U.K. washing and bathing division, with new product launches key to attracting consumers. Additionally, all four brands in PZ Cussons’ beauty division saw good progress, and, in particular, St. Tropez, which has benefited from the appointment of Kate Moss as brand ambassador at the start of summer 2013. The company also recorded strong performance in Poland in both its home care and personal care divisions, and an encouraging performance in Greece was recorded with growth in both revenue and profitability.