PZ Cussons posts rise in first-half profit

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PZ Cussons, the maker of Imperial Leather soaps, said new products had helped it post an eight per cent rise in first-half profit.

The British soap and shampoo maker said profit before tax and exceptional items for the six months to November 30 rose to £47.6m, with revenues up 4.1 per cent to £431.8m.

“Whilst the trading environment in most markets, and the impact of currency weakness in emerging markets, remains challenging, we can see good prospects for continued growth,” the company said in a statement, adding that the Australian dollar and Indonesian rupiah had been particularly weak.

The group said new shower and handwash ranges had helped its UK business to a robust performance in the first half, while growth was improving in Nigeria. Together the two countries account for more than 60 per cent of group sales.

PZ Cussons raised its interim dividend by 7.7 per cent to 2.53p.