PZ Cussons Plc has seen first-quarter revenue jump 23% due to a spike in demand for soaps and hand sanitisers during the COVID-19 pandemic, but warned the health crisis could hamper sales in its beauty business.
The company said it expects volatility and risk brought on by the global health crisis to continue despite the recovery it has witnessed, adding that it was preparing for a multi-year turnaround of the business.
Full-year profit slumped by 14% as sales of fake tan brand St Tropez, namechecked by reality TV star Kim Kardashian and other social media influencers, were hit hard due to coronavirus-led curbs in the United States, Britain and Europe.
Cussons, which makes Imperial Leather soap and Carex handwash, said adjusted profit before tax from continuing operations fell to £62 million, for the year ended May 31, from £72.3 million a year ago.
"We enter this year with a stronger base to work from and new leadership," commented Caroline Silver, the company's chairman. "Our financial position, in terms of net debt and working capital management, is robust. We have significant opportunities in the increasingly important hygiene category and across Beauty as our business recovers.
"There are plenty of uncertainties in the macroeconomic environment, but we have taken, and will continue to take, decisive actions to drive our return to growth."