Carex owner PZ Cussons sees revenues continue growing in the face of rising inflation

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Consumer products company PZ Cussons has been trading in line with forecasts despite cost rises putting greater pressure on shoppers.

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The Manchester-based group said on Monday revenues for the three months ending 31 May had increased by 7 per cent on a like-for-like basis when compared to the equivalent period last year.

It reported 4 per cent growth in sales of its eight so-called ‘Must Win Brands,’ which include dishwashing liquid Morning Fresh, Original Source shower gel, and tanning brand St. Tropez.

Sales Growth: PZ Cussons, the owner of hygiene brand Carex, announced that revenues for the three months ending 31 May had increased by 7 per cent on a like-for-like basis

Sales Growth: PZ Cussons, the owner of hygiene brand Carex, announced that revenues for the three months ending 31 May had increased by 7 per cent on a like-for-like basis

Sales Growth: PZ Cussons, the owner of hygiene brand Carex, announced that revenues for the three months ending 31 May had increased by 7 per cent on a like-for-like basis

PZ Cussons said this reflected a normalization of supply chain problems in US beauty and demand for hand hygiene goods in the UK, with the latter driving a ‘significantly lower’ rate of decline in sales of Carex.

Childs Farm, a skincare brand acquired in March for £ 18.4million, performed in accordance with expectations.

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Consequently, the FTSE 250 firm expects full-year revenue to rise by 3 per cent to about £ 590million, and it forecasts for adjusted pre-tax profits remain unchanged.

Two months ago, chief executive Jonathan Myers warned that the economic environment was ‘amongst the most challenging many of us have seen’ due to rising prices and inflationary pressures.

He made the remarks as the group published third-quarter results showing its sales jumping 8.5 per cent thanks to price hikes and strong demand for hygiene and electricals products in Africa.

Since then, the UK inflation rate has expanded to its highest level in four decades, following steady climbs in food, energy and commodities prices, and PZ Cussons has further pushed up prices in response to increasing input costs.

Yet today, Myers said he was’ pleased with the significant progress made in returning the business to sustainable, profitable revenue growth.

‘With a new team in place, we have re-focused on the core job of building brands and have started to unlock value through dramatically reducing complexity in our business.’

Myers admitted that trading remained ‘challenging,’ but declared: ‘We have plans in place to mitigate the impact of this, as we continue to deliver great value for consumers, whilst also investing behind more premium innovations.

‘The recent introduction of our new portfolio brand, Cussons Creations, for the value-conscious consumer, alongside the re-launches of Sanctuary Spa and Imperial Leather, are good examples of such initiatives.

‘They have been well received by customers and have allowed us to secure significant distribution gains. We have great brands and great people and, whilst there is more to be done to deliver against our strategy, we remain excited by the long-term opportunities ahead of us. ‘

PZ Cussons shares were up 2.8 per cent to £ 2.03 during the mid-afternoon on Monday, although their value has fallen by about 18 per cent over the past year.

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