Imperial Leather-maker PZ Cussons trading in line with expectations

St Tropez brand ambassador Kate Moss helped give PZ Cussons a healthy glow since its May year-end despite tough UK trading conditions and disruption in its African markets.

The personal goods company updated the market on its performance over the period  from 1 June to 22 September today in advance of its annual general meeting.

PZ Cussons said the beauty division performed well across its key UK, US and Australian markets thanks in part to Moss’s continued ambassadorship. The relaunch of its Imperial Leather range and an “exciting innovation pipeline” helped it trade strongly in the UK in its most recent quarter despite “challenging” trading conditions.

The group made good progress expanding its babycare portfolio in Indonesia as well as building non-babycare brands such as Original Source.

Trading in Australia was strong across home care, personal care, beauty and food & nutrition. The £44.1m  acquisition of Australian food brand 5:AM grew in line with expectations and the international expansion of baby food brand Rafferty’s Garden, which PZ acquired last year, was set to continue with a New Zealand launch.

Disruption in northern Nigeria worsened resulting in a decline in sales in that region, although growth in the south of the country, in particular in the electrical goods business and in its two food and nutrition joint ventures, continued. 

The group said it remained focussed on a “dynamic and fast brand renovation and innovation programme, an ongoing cost reduction programme and successful delivery of new areas of growth such as Rafferty’s Garden, Five:AM and the PZ Wilmar joint venture”.

These initiatives would help offset continuing macro challenges, including foreign exchange and raw material volatility.