Shares in Manchester based PZ Cussons  slid this morning after the maker of Imperial Leather soap saw its pretax profits dropover 37% to £24.9m for the six months to November 30, down from £40.0m year earlier.

The group blamed the fall on an £15.3mln exceptional charge relating to foreign exchange losses in Nigeria following the devaluation of the country’s currency, the Naira as well as tough trading conditions in Australia

The group’s chairwoman Caroline Silver said: “In Nigeria, consumers are faced with an almost doubling of costs for everything they have to buy and in this environment they turn strongly to brands that they know, love and trust.”

She added:

“In this first half of the 2017 financial year, the Group has faced a backdrop full of challenges across most of the markets where we operate. This was by no means unexpected and so, despite this, the results presented today reflect a solid performance with revenue and profit only slightly lower than the previous period. The strength and breadth of the Group’s product portfolio has allowed us to hold or grow the share of our brands in our main markets and product categories. We intend to reinforce this in the second half of the financial year with a number of major launches and relaunches taking place. Our ability to be agile and nimble is a core strength and a differentiator against our larger competitors.”


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