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Personal care group PZ Cussons has continued to make progress in its turnaround as its new strategy combined with higher prices led to an increase in annual revenues.

Trading in the final quarter continued to be in line with expectations, with like-for-like growth of 7%, the group said in a trading update.

As a result, PZ Cussons expected full-year revenues for the 12 months to 31 May to come in at £590m, a like-for-like increase of 3%, with forecasts for adjusted pre-tax profits unchanged.

The group said growth continued to be driven primarily by improvements in price/mix, with limited impact on volumes.

It added that the ‘Must Win Brands’, including Carex, St. Tropez, Sanctuary Spa and Original Source, continued to see good revenue momentum, growing 4% in the fourth quarter.

The improvement reflected the ongoing benefit of marketing and executional focus, a normalising of the supply challenges for US beauty, and a significantly lower rate of decline in Carex as the demand for the hand hygiene category in the UK normalises following the pandemic.

Childs Farm, which PZ Cusson acquired in March, also performed in line with expectations, with plans to develop the brand “progressing well”.

CEO Jonathan Myers said he was pleased with the “significant progress” made in returning the business to sustainable, profitable revenue growth following the first full financial year of its new strategy.

“With a new team in place, we have re-focused on the core job of building brands and have started to unlock value through dramatically reducing complexity in our business,” he added.

However, Myers warned that the trading environment continued to be “challenging”, with high input cost inflation and pressures on household budgets.

“We have plans in place to mitigate the impact of this, as we continue to deliver great value for consumers, whilst also investing behind more premium innovations.

“The recent introduction of our new portfolio brand, Cussons Creations, for the value-conscious consumer, alongside the relaunches of Sanctuary Spa and Imperial Leather, are good examples of such initiatives. They have been well received by customers and have allowed us to secure significant distribution gains.

“We have great brands and great people and, whilst there is more to be done to deliver against our strategy, we remain excited by the long-term opportunities ahead of us.”

 Shares in PZ Cussons opened 1.1% higher at 199.6p.

Morning update

Annual profits at Cake Box have close to doubled as revenues soared on the back of a significant expansion in the number of dessert shops in its estate.

Revenues in the year ended 31 March rose 50.7% to £33m thanks to an “exceptional” number of new franchise openings, with 31 opened compared with 24 in the previous year.

It takes the number of franchise stores in the estate to 185, with total franchisee turnover up 55% to £66m and like-for-like growth of 12% in franchise stores in the ten-month period to the financial year end.

Cake Box continued to expand its kiosk offering, with 15 units in supermarkets, up from five, and a further 20 in shopping centres.

Online sales also increased 41% to £13.3m at the group.

It resulted in a 83.3% jump in pre-tax profits to £7.7m for the year.

CEO Sukh Chamdal said the group delivered another strong set of results and continued to trade “robustly” in the new financial year despite the challenging economic and trading environment.

“I founded Cake Box at the height of the financial crisis in 2008. These are difficult times for everyone, but as we’ve seen before, the group’s unique customer and franchisee proposition remains both exciting and enticing,” he added.

“As I said at the height of the Covid pandemic, there will still be birthdays, marriages and countless moments in our lives to celebrate with a slice of our delicious cake.”

Parsley Box has unveiled another new partnership with the Daily Mail for its customers to enjoy during Wimbledon.

A ‘cream tea for two’ is available until 9 July and will be marketed exclusively to Daily Mail customers for £14.95, with Parsley Box customers offered a different variant.

It follows a similar offer over the Platinum Jubilee weekend, which Parsely Box said was “highly successful”.

CEO Kevin Dorren said: “Innovation and key partnerships with the likes of the Daily Mail and iconic brands is a key part of the strategy to drive incremental revenues, order frequency and average order value over time.

“We were delighted with the success of the Jubilee package and hope that the Wimbledon package will be even more successful.”

The FTSE 100 has made a positive start to the week, rising 0.8% to 7,267.54pts this morning.

Shares in Cake Box surged 4.8% higher to 175.6p on the back of its annual results.

Other early risers included Deliveroo (+2.6%), THG (+2.6%), Glanbia (+2.3%) and Coca-Cola Europacific Partners (+1.9%).

McBride (-6.1%), Ocado (-2.5%), Science in Sport (-1.9%) and Bakkavor (0.9%) were among the fallers.

This week in the City

It’s looking a little quieter this week as the second quarter and first half of 2022 draw to a close.

Tomorrow will see Nielsen reveal its latest monthly grocery figures.

Wednesday brings full-year results from online gifting group Moonpig, while General Mills and McCormick update markets in the US.

There are quarterly results on Thursday from Walgreens Boots Alliance, which is expected to provide an update of the drawn-out sales process for the Boots chain.