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PZ Cussons Warns Of Weakening Demand, Nigeria Challenges

Soap and cosmetics maker PZ Cussons Plc has warned it is facing weaker consumer demand across its main markets, with its dominant African business hampered by a weakened economy and currency in Nigeria.

The owner of the Imperial Leather brand faced major disruptions in getting goods into Nigeria, and first-half contribution to profits from the west African country, its single largest market, would be lower than a year earlier.

Consumer Under Pressure

'We expect the consumer to remain under pressure in all of the markets in which we operate,' the company said in a statement.

'Despite this, our unrelenting focus on continued product innovation and further expansion of our distribution are expected to underpin continuing good performance in Europe and Asia. The overall outturn for the full year will, as in prior years, depend in part on the macro environment in Nigeria during the seasonally-important second half of the year, and we continue to manage that business accordingly.'

The company, which also houses the Carex, Five:am and Morning Fresh brands, said it would continue to review its Nigerian business and look to further "optimise" prices and pack sizes of its products as profit margins remain under pressure.

PZ Cussons, which gets about 36% of its revenue from Africa, said product launches and distribution expansion was helping it to grow its business in Europe and Asia.

Important brands including Imperial Leather, Carex and Original Source saw strong growth in Europe, helped by product launches and new marketing campaigns.

News by Reuters, edited by ESM. Click subscribe to sign up to ESM: European Supermarket Magazine.

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