Strong demand for hygiene products continues to drive PZ Cussons

PZ Cussons, the Manchester-based consumer products group and maker of Carex cleaner, reported strong third quarter momentum today.

In a trading update, it revealed that revenues for the three months had risen by 4.7%, on a constant currency basis, to £145.3m.

And it said that, despite continued market volatility, the group remains on track to perform in line with the current range of market expectations for full year.

All its regions grew revenue and profit versus the prior year, it said, while its ‘Must Win Brands’ revenue, including the Carex brand, increased 12%, fuelling the overall performance, as a result of increased personal hygiene during the coronavirus pandemic.

Carex in the UK and Morning Fresh in Australia and Nigeria performed strongly, while its Sanctuary Spa brand delivered strong double digit growth, thanks to increased bricks and mortar retail sales and an exceptional online performance.

Cussons Baby grew in both Indonesia and Nigeria, continuing the year to date trend.

The group said its balance sheet remains robust and net debt, of £35m, is down from £116m a year ago.

Chief executive, Jonathan Myers, said: “Our third quarter results maintained the renewed momentum of our business, despite the quarter ending with the anniversary of the start of the global COVID-19 pandemic.

“The encouraging growth was broad-based, with all regions delivering top and bottom-line growth, enabling the group to deliver operating margins ahead of Q3 last year, while continuing to increase investment behind our Must Win Brands and new strategic capabilities.

“In the final quarter of this current financial year, as some of our brands come up against strong levels of demand in the base period, we intend to continue increasing investment behind building our brands and capabilities, to maintain momentum as we move to more normal comparatives.”

He added: “Looking ahead, we will continue to proactively navigate the volatility of the pandemic, the competitive landscape and commodity cost headwinds, but at the same time remain focused on executing the initial phase of our new strategy – Building Brands for Life, Today and for Future Generations.”