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26 Jan 2021 | 07:30

PZ Cussons profits rise on sanitiser sales; Sees Brexit supply impact

(Sharecast News) - Consumer goods conglomerate PZ Cussons reported higher adjusted profits, driven by demand for hand wash and sanitiser during the coronavirus pandemic, but warned of Brexit-related supply issues.

The maker of Imperial Leather soap and Carex hand wash said adjusted operating profit increased 14.8% at £36.4m with growth in all geographical regions. Revenue rose 10% to £312.9m.

Pre-tax profit from continuing operations fell 1.4% to £36.3m. The dividend was held at 2.67p per share.

Looking ahead, the company said it expected continued economic uncertainty associated with Covid-19 in the second half, with the risk of weaker consumer confidence combined with "already evident upward cost pressure". It also warned of greater competition from new market players in the hand sanitiser market.

"Assuming no material change to anticipated Covid restrictions or resulting consumer behaviour, we expect to perform in line with the current range of market expectations for this financial year," the company said.

"As a result of the Covid-19 pandemic, there has been unprecedented growth in the hand wash and especially the hand sanitiser categories in the UK. However demand continues to remain volatile and difficult to predict. We also see an increase in competition with new market entrants especially in hand sanitiser."

"Assuming no material change to anticipated Covid restrictions or resulting consumer behaviour, we expect to perform in line with the current range of market expectations for this financial year."

On Brexit, Cussons warned of delays in material supply since the end of the transition period on December 31, adding that tariffs so far had been managed with a "small impact".

"The impact of tariffs remains small given our sourcing, our EU customers continue to receive our products and across our key lines we have the required raw materials. We are seeing some delays in material supply and of course the wider economic impact will be known later," the company said.

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