StockMarketWire.com - Consumer goods group PZ Cussons booked a 38% fall in annual profit after sales were hit by weak economic conditions in Nigeria and adverse foreign exchange movements.

The company said it was reviewing the growth potential of some of its 'non-core' brands and would ultimately focus more on its personal care and beauty categories. It would also streamline its activities in Nigeria.

Pre-tax profit for the year through May fell to £37.0m, down from £59.2m on-year.

Revenue declined 6.8% to £689.4m and the company held its interim dividend steady at 8.28p per share.

The bottom line was also dented by impairments of the company's five:am brand in Australia and Nutricima in Nigeria.

PJ Cussons said it expected current economic conditions in its key markets to remain challenging whilst it transitioned towards a return to revenue growth.

'The group's results for the year were mixed,' chief executive Caroline Silver said.

'A combination of solid performances in Europe & the Americas, with strong growth in the beauty business unit and Asia Pacific, compared with very disappointing results in Africa.'

'As we anticipated at the half year, the adjusted profit before tax of £69.8m reflects the negative impact of the extremely tough macroeconomic conditions in Nigeria, which has historically been a key profit driver.'

'We cannot rely upon short term economic conditions improving markedly in our key markets and are therefore taking action to reposition the group to return to profitable growth.'

'We have today announced a new strategy, built around focus, scale and accelerate.'

'Our resources and investment will be prioritised behind key categories and brands in only those geographies offering the clearest opportunities in order to return the group to sustainable, profitable growth.'

'Our cost base will be tightly managed and we will act at pace.'

'The results from this will not be immediate, but we expect 2019/20 to be an important transitional year.'



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