PZ Cussons controls costs to counter FX volatility

Manchester-based PZ Cussons has successfully countered ongoing raw material and exchange rate volatility to ensure its full year financial performace is in line with expectations, the consumer products company announced today.

It said that tight cost controls together with further margin improvement initiatives meant that the group’s balance sheet remains strong and that the board was pleased with the company’s overall performance.

The company’s half-year pre-tax profits for had taken a hit as a result of foreign exchange losses in Nigeria, and were down 37.8% to £24.9m.

It said that liquidity had improved during the second half, but the availability of US dollars at the interbank rate remained low resulting in the need to continue accessing the secondary market.

In the UK, performance in the washing and bathing division was robust with renovation and innovation continuing to drive good performance across Imperial Leather, Carex and Original Source despite competitive market conditions, it said.

The Imperial Leather range was completely relaunched during the year and successful product launches took place under the Carex and Original Source brands.

In the beauty division, it relaunched the Sanctuary brand with a new product range and a more premium look and feel. The new sub-brand, Being by Sanctuary, is targeting younger consumers with a range of 46 products.

Meanwhile, in Australia new product launches, range extensions and margin improvement initiatives continued to improve the profitability of the business, despite ongoing challenging trading conditions.

The company will announce its full year results in July.