PZ Cussons profit falls. downgrades guidance on weak Nigeria performance

Consumer goods group PZ Cussons posted a 20% fall in first-half profit and downgraded its annual guidance, after sales were hit by 'extremely challenging conditions' at its Nigerian business.

Pre-tax profit for the six months through November fell to £26.7m, as revenue fell 10% to £335.1m.

Adjusted profit fell 1.5% to £32.8m, while like-for-like revenue fell 4.6%.

The company kept its interim dividend steady at 2.67p per share.

Adjusted profit for the full year now expected to be towards £70m, driven by conditions in Nigeria, including an estimated £5.5m impact as a result of significant port disruption.

PZ Cussons said its performance in the African nation were also hurt by a weak consumer environment, higher supply-chain costs and a lower exchange rate, which contributed to lower prices, volumes and margins.

'The group continues to make pleasing progress in Europe and Asia, with new product development and increased support across our key brands delivering positive momentum,' chairman Caroline Silver said.

'Disappointingly, however, the macroeconomic conditions in Nigeria remain extremely challenging and continue to have a significant negative impact on overall group performance.'

Silver said the company expected consumer demand in all its key markets to remain subdued.

'Whilst these conditions prevail, we will maintain our strong market shares in key product categories in Nigeria until growth returns to the market,' she said.