Soap maker PZ Cussons has predicted a return to profitable growth for the year as it reported group performance “in line with management expectations” for the period 30 January to 10 April.

In a trading update today, the owner of Imperial Leather, Carex and Original Source said it continues to face challenging trading conditions in most of its markets, but that its brands in the UK washing and bathing division have performed well, although it did not cite figures.

“The core brands of Imperial Leather, Carex and Original Source have performed well despite intense promotional activity in the trade and a challenging consumer environment,” it said.

It added that its beauty division had faced a tough period of growth in the UK but had performed well in international markets including the US, Poland and Germany.

PZ Cussons said pressure on disposable income would continue to affect its full-year outlook.

“Against this backdrop, the group continues its focus on brand innovation and renovation in all markets as well as cost optimisation in all areas of the business,” it said.

Internationally, PZ Cussons reported that trading in Asia and Africa had been challenging as a result of unrest in north Nigeria and a weaker rupiah in Indonesia, but that it has been in line with expectations across these markets. Trading in the group’s smaller Greek business remained difficult as a result of the wider economic backdrop, it added.

A further trading update will be made on 13 June after the close of its financial year.

Last year the company reported a 15% drop in pre-tax profits to £92.3m.