PZ Cussons suffers in key market

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The Independent Online

PZ Cussons, the soap-to-tanning group, has posted a rise in half-year profits but took a hit from lower revenues because of the social unrest in its key market of Nigeria.

The owner of St Tropez tanning products delivered a 3.3 per cent leap in profits to £40.6m in the six months to 30 November, boosted by "robust" demand for Imperial Leather soap in the UK and a strong performance on its Cussons baby range in Asia.

The Manchester-based company said: "While trading conditions in most markets are challenging, we remain confident of a return to profitable growth for the full year, with the range of potential outcomes being largely dependent on trading in our largest market, Nigeria.

"Social unrest in the north of the country continued to affect the business as a result of disruption to trade and transport routes."

Nigeria accounts for 90 per cent of Cussons' revenues in Africa.