PZ CUSSONS REMAINS FOCUSED ON AFRICAN MARKETS DESPITE A RECENT DOWNTURN FROM ITS NIGERIAN UNIT

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PZ Cussons Plc said on Wednesday its quarterly results were in line with expectations, even as the soaps and cosmetics maker’s prices, volumes and margins in Nigeria remained under pressure.

PZ Cussons said new products and cost cuts helped offset challenging trading conditions in Nigeria for the quarter ended Aug. 31.

Shares of the company were up 1.3 per cent at 232.4 pence in early trading.

The company has suffered from a slowdown in its largest Nigeria market, forcing it to warn in July of a challenging year ahead after Africa profits declined sharply in the year to May 31.

In a trading update, the company said consumer disposable income in Nigeria remained subdued ahead of elections in that country.

PZ Cussons, which has a more than 130-year-old history, gets about 36 per cent of its revenue from Africa and also sells home appliances in partnership with Haier

The company said it was focussing on optimising price points and sizes across the key brands in its Africa portfolio.

Its Nutricima business, which makes milk and yoghurt-based beverages, had moved into a breakeven position from making losses last year, PZ Cussons said.

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