PZ Cussons has reported an 18% increase in pre-tax profit from £24.5m to £28.9m for the six months to end November 30.

The consumer goods company, which manufactures products including Imperial Leather, Original Source and Charles Worthington, also revealed an 11% increase in sales for the period from £232.6m to £258.3m.

In the UK, the group said that although the market remained competitive with continued pressure on selling prices, continued brand development had resulted in a good performance this year.

Last year PZ Cussons revealed that it was closing its factory in Nottingham in 2007 and transferring production to Thailand.

However, the group today said that the closure of the site was ahead of schedule and would close by the end of the financial year. Production has already started at its new factory in Thailand.

PZ Cussons added: “The positive signs experienced in the first-half should continue for the remainder of the year, although trading in some territories remains challenging due to pressure on both selling prices and costs.”