PZ Cussons is undaunted by Nigerian storms

Violent religious clashes, an eight-day national strike and flooding failed to dent PZ Cussons' profits during the first half of the year.

The soap maker said sales in its key Nigerian market were likely to be lower than last year because of social unrest in the country and severe weather conditions.

However, better trading conditions in Australia and the UK mean overall profits are likely to be about 10 per cent higher when it reports next month. Cussons said cost-saving measures had improved the profitability of its Australian business.

In the UK, brands such as Active Reverse, promoted by former ballet star Darcey Bussell, drove profits in its beauty division, it added.

The shares fell 5.8p to 354.2p on the back of the mixed trading statement.