PZ Cussons' profits expectations in line as Nigerian issues continue
PZ Cussons said on Thursday that its annual profit is expected to have dropped in line with guidance as the soap maker continued to be hampered by a weak consumer backdrop in Nigeria.
The FTSE 250-listed company said its profit before tax and exceptional items for the year ended 31 May was expected to be close to £70m, down from £80.1m in the year before after a "disappointing" performance in Africa.
The macro economic situation in Nigeria, as well as "challenging conditions" from disruption at ports, had led the company to lower its pre-tax profit expectations to around £70m in January, after the company's adjusted operating profit in Africa plummeted by 71% in the first half of the year.
Elsewhere, PZ Cussons said a resilient performance in Europe and Asia was driven by product innovation and renovation as well as distribution expansion, with the group's beauty division performing particularly well.
The Lagos-based manufacturer and distributor added that its balance sheet remains strong with net debt lower than the £165.4m it reported at the close of the previous year.
Finally, Brandon Leigh, the company announced that its chief financial officer had resigned and would step down from the board with immediate effect after 13 years in that role and more than two decades at the company.
Until a replacement is found, Leigh's responsibilities will be assumed by Alan Bergin, commercial finance director on the company's executive leadership team, supported by the chief executive.
PZ Cussons' shares were down 2.77% at 196.40p at 0824 BST.