PZ Cussons plc Slips 3% Despite Revenue And Profit Growth

PZ Cussons  (LSE: PZC) — the personal healthcare products and consumer goods giant behinds brands such as Imperial Leather, Carex and  Original Source — published an interim announcement of of it’s half year results to 30 November 2013 this morning. Despite what is described as “a good result” that was “in line with management expectations“, its share price is currently down close to 3% on the day.

Group operating profit grew 6% on revenue that increased 4%, notwithstanding the adverse effect of weakening Asian currencies.  If exchange rate effects are excluded, revenue was up 6% and operating profit 8%.

Looking geographically, Nigeria saw growth in revenue and operating profit across all product categories, Australia and Indonesia enjoyed strong underlying performance in the face of a significant weakening in exchange rates, and Europe reported a “robust performance” in the UK Washing and Bathing division, a “strong performance” in both Home Care and Personal Care in Poland, with growth in both revenue and profitability in Greece being described as “encouraging“.

The board has recommended increasing the interim dividend by 7,7%, to 2.53p per share.

Commenting on the announcement, PZ Cussons’ Chairman Richard Harvey said:

The Group has delivered a good result for the half year with growth in both revenue and profitability. 

“Trading conditions in all geographies remain challenging and the Group’s focus on innovation and brand development continues to ensure profitable growth is achieved in the markets and categories in which we operate.

“Our balance sheet remains strong and we have the appetite to pursue further investment opportunities which fit our strategic aims.

At 384.7p, PZ Cussons’ share price is down 1.5% on this time last year, woefully under-performing the FTSE 100, which has grown by 10.6%.  But it has climbed 142% over the past five years, leaving the FTSE 100 trailing on just 65%.

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> Jon doesn't own shares in PZ Cussons. The Motley Fool owns shares in PZ Cussons.