Personal care firm PZ Cussons has said that it has made a 'good start' to the current financial year, following on from a full-year period in which reported revenue dropped slightly but like-for-like revenues were up.
On a reported basis, the group reported a 1.7% decline in revenue in its 2022 full year, of £592.8 million (€679 million), while like-for-like revenue was 2.9% higher.
Reported revenue was impacted by adverse currency exchange movements and disposals, the group said.
It is the second consecutive year that the Imperial Leather owner has reported a like-for-like sales increase.
Adjusted profit before tax stood at £66.6 million (€76.3 million), ahead of consensus expectations, it added, with pricing and productivity initiatives offsetting the impact of cost inflation (estimated at around £40 million).
"PZ Cussons has delivered a resilient performance over the past year, against the backdrop of challenging conditions in our markets," commented Jonathan Myers, chief executive. "We have achieved this through our strategy to invest in our brands, focusing on the core categories of Hygiene, Baby and Beauty, while significantly raising the bar on the way we operate.
"We are reporting a second year of strategic progress, with revenue and operating profit both higher than two years ago. We have made good progress in addressing the legacy issues in our business and are now moving from Turnaround to Transformation."
Looking ahead to the first quarter of its financial year, the group expects like-for-like revenue growth of 6.7%, driven largely by price/mix improvements.
As to the coming full year, PZ Cussons said that it expects to deliver FY23 results 'in line with current consensus estimates', and despite the current challenges relating to cost inflation and consumer spending.
"While there is plenty more to do and the external environment remains challenging, we have made a good start to the current financial year and continue to see significant long term opportunities ahead as we build towards a higher growth, higher margin, simpler and more sustainable business," Myers added.
Commenting on its performance, analyst Russ Mould of AJ Bell said, “PZ Cussons has always felt a bit second-tier in the world of consumer goods, but the company’s latest update did demonstrate some pricing power in the face of rising input costs.
“A more focused approach seems to be paying off for the business, and arguably it could be even more streamlined, putting its time and resources into the brands which are truly worthy of the effort.”