- Consumer goods group PZ Cussons held its interim dividend steady after its adjusted earnings rose on higher sales of hand wash and sanitiser amid the pandemic.

Net profit for the six months through December dropped to £14.2 million, down from £28.8 million year-on-year, and included one-off costs in Nigeria and a profit on the sale of a Greek business last year.

Pre-tax profit from continuing operations fell 1.4% to £36.3 million, but adjusted profit, which removes exceptional items, rose 16% to £27.0 million.

Revenue climbed 10% to £312.9 million, or by 15% on a constant currency basis.

PZ Cussons held its interim dividend steady at 2.67p per share.

Looking ahead, the company said it expected continued economic uncertainty associated with Covid-19 in the second half.

'Despite these external headwinds we plan to continue to increase investment in our brands,' it added.

'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.'

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