- PZ Cussons' H1 pretax profit has slumped 37.8% to £24.9m, from a year-earlier profit of £40m, but says it remains on track to meet its FY expectations.

Interim dividend was 2.67p a share, from 2.61p. The slide in profit came on revenue for the period of £378.2m, from £385.9m.

"The Group has faced a backdrop full of challenges across most of the markets where we operate," said chair Caroline Silver in a statement, adding this was not unexpected.

"Despite this, the results presented today reflect a solid performance with revenue and profit only slightly lower than the previous period" she said.

"We remain on track to deliver our full year expectations. In this context, the Board has increased the interim dividend by 2.3% to 2.67p per share."

Silver said the strength and breadth of PZ Cussons' product portfolio had allowed it to hold or grow the share of its brands in its main markets and product categories.

"We intend to reinforce this in the second half of the financial year with a number of major launches and relaunches taking place. Our ability to be agile and nimble is a core strength and a differentiator against our larger competitors," she said.

In Nigeria, consumers were faced with an almost doubling of costs for everything they have to buy and in this environment they turn strongly to brands that they know, love and trust.

"Our diverse range of well established products across multiple categories are well price positioned with good availability across the country."

PZ Cussons' balance sheet remained strong, with net debt at 1.5-times EBITDA giving the company flexibility to take advantage of new investment opportunities as and when they arose.

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