PZ Cussons has reported a 15% drop in pre-tax profits for the past year, caused by rising raw material costs and tough trading conditions in Nigeria and Australia.

The personal care group said profits had dropped to £92.3m for the year to 31 May. It said profits had been hit by difficult trading in the Australian homecare category, by political tensions in Nigeria and a £25m increase in raw material costs.

Over the same period, sales increased by 4.7% to £858.9m. The UK was a key driver of growth, boosted by the £26.3m acquisition of hair care brand Fudge at the start of the year. 

“Underlying revenue growth continued across the business, particularly in the UK, in the beauty division and in Indonesia,” said PZ Cussons chairman Richard Harvey.

City analysts said the results were in line with expectations, adding that the outlook was more positive for 2013.

“Asia should see better profitability, with Australia returning to profit, while Europe should benefit from a full year of Fudge and the launch of Cussons Mum & Me in the UK,” said Panmure’s Graham Jones.