Pre-tax profits have slipped 5.4% to £108.8m at PZ Cussons (PZC) despite demand for its fake tan and beauty brands St Tropez, Sanctuary, Fudge and Charles Worthington all driving profitable growth in the UK.
Sales were down 4.9% to £819.1m at the personal care goods group behind Imperial Leather in the year ended 31 May 2015 as presidential elections, the Ebola outbreak and significant currency devaluation in Nigeria – its biggest market – all took their toll.
However, the company declared itself satisfied with like-for-like growth of 2.3% in “tough conditions”.
After exceptional items of almost £25m, primarily restructuring and acquisition costs, pre-tax profit was 32.1% down to £84m from £123.7m last year.
“Despite tough trading conditions, particularly in our largest market Nigeria, underlying revenue and operating profit grew 2.3% and 2.7% respectively, and our market share positions were either held or grown in our core categories,” chairman Richard Harvey said.
“Performance since the year-end has been in line with expectations. Whilst the outlook remains challenging, the group’s focus on its values, robust long-term strategy, our innovative product pipeline, and the strategic steps we have taken, provide a strong and exciting platform for future sustainable growth.”
Shares in PZ Cussons fell on back of the results, with the stock currently trading 1.1% down at 356p.
Analyst sentiment was in line with the group’s in that it was a solid performance in challenging conditions.