PZ Cussons says trading mixed due to 'challenging' conditions

Cosmetics and home-products group PZ Cussons said it still expects a return to profitable growth this year despite 'challenging' trading conditions in most of its markets.

Cosmetics and home-products group PZ Cussons said it still expects a return to profitable growth this year despite 'challenging' trading conditions in most of its markets.

The company, famous for cosmetics and home-products brands, said in a trading update on Thursday that its performance in the third quarter has been in line with management expectations and cash generation remains strong.

The UK washing and bathing division, responsible for the core brands of Imperial Leather, Carex and Original Source, is said to have performed well despite "intense promotional activity in the trade" and a tough environment for consumers.

This challenging consumer environment in the UK has been made up for by growth in international markets, the group said, though trading in the smaller Greek olive oil and spreads business remains difficult due to the wider economic backdrop.

Elsewhere, trading conditions in Australia are still challenging though the division has moved firmly back into profitability. Trading across South-East Asia remains strong.

In Africa, group said that it will launch a new consumer food ingredients brand in Nigeria in June after finishing the construction of a palm oil refinery. However, unrest in northern Nigeria continues to affect sales of its other products.

"We continue to face challenging trading conditions in most of the markets we operate in with consumer disposable income remaining under pressure," PZ Cussons said in statement.

"Results are expected to be in line with management expectations delivering a return to profitable growth for the year."

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