LONDON Jan 21 PZ Cussons, the maker of
Imperial Leather soaps, said new and improved products helped it
post an 8 percent rise in first-half profit, adding that trading
since had met its expectations.
The British soap and shampoo maker said on Tuesday profit
before tax and exceptional items for the six months to Nov. 30
rose to 47.6 million pounds ($78.2 million), with revenues up
4.1 percent to 431.8 million pounds.
"Whilst the trading environment in most markets, and the
impact of currency weakness in emerging markets, remains
challenging, we can see good prospects for continued growth,"
the company said in a statement, adding that the Australian
dollar and Indonesian rupiah had been particularly weak.
The group said new shower and handwash ranges had helped its
UK business to a robust performance in the first half, while
growth was improving in Nigeria. Together the two countries
account for over 60 percent of group sales.
PZ Cussons raised its interim dividend by 7.7 percent to
Shares in the firm closed at 396.2 pence on Monday, up 3
percent on a year ago, valuing the business at 1.7 billion
pounds. ($1 = 0.6090 British pounds)