‘Resilient’ year for consumer products group PZ Cussons

Manchester consumer products group, PZ Cussons said it has produced a “resilient” performance for the year to May 31, 2022, today (September 22).

Revenues dropped from £603.3m in 2021 to £592.8m, while pre-tax profits of £65.3m was less than last year’s £71.5m figure.

However, the group has decided to increase the dividend by 5.1% to 6.40 per share, which it said reflects the board’s confidence in the strategy and long term business prospects.

Chief executive, Jonathan Myers, said: “PZ Cussons has delivered a resilient performance over the past year, against the backdrop of challenging conditions in our markets.

“We have achieved this through our strategy to invest in our brands, focusing on the core categories of Hygiene, Baby and Beauty, while significantly raising the bar on the way we operate.

“We are reporting a second year of strategic progress, with revenue and operating profit both higher than two years ago.

“We have made good progress in addressing the legacy issues in our business and are now moving from Turnaround to Transformation.”

He added: “While there is plenty more to do and the external environment remains challenging, we have made a good start to the current financial year and continue to see significant long term opportunities ahead as we build towards a higher growth, higher margin, simpler and more sustainable business.”

The group revealed that like for like revenues in the first quarter of fiscal year 2023 have grown by 6.7%, driven primarily by continued price/mix improvements.

Notwithstanding the significant challenges related to cost inflation and consumer spending, which will remain uncertain over the coming months, the group expects to deliver 2023 results in line with current consensus estimates.

Russ Mould, investment director at Manchester investment platform, AJ Bell, said: “PZ Cussons has always felt a bit second-tier in the world of consumer goods, but the company’s latest update did demonstrate some pricing power in the face of rising input costs.

“A more focused approach seems to be paying off for the business and arguably it could be even more streamlined, putting its time and resources into the brands which are truly worthy of the effort.”