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PZ Cussons FY20 Results Down, Declares Lower Dividend; Q1 Revenue Climbs

Consumer products group PZ Cussons Plc (PZC.L) reported Wednesday that its fiscal 2020 profit before tax declined 32.8 percent to 29.3 million pounds from last year's 43.6 million pounds.

Profit from continuing operations fell 38.9 percent from last year to 19.6 million pounds. Basic earnings per share were 4.61 pence, down from 6.14 pence last year.

Adjusted pre-tax profit was 62 million pounds, compared to 72.3 million pounds last year. Adjusted basic earnings per share were 11.59 pence, compared to 12.91 pence a year ago.

Revenue from continuing operations declined 2.6 percent to 587.2 million pounds from 603.0 million pounds a year ago, largely driven by Nigeria and the mixed impact of COVID-19 on its business.

Further, the company said its Board is recommending a final dividend of 3.13 pence, down from 5.61 pence per share last year. This makes a total of 5.80 pence for the year, down from last year's 8.28 pence.

Separately, PZ Cussons announced its first-quarter trading update, reporting good start to the year with revenue growth, but seeing volatility ahead.

The first-quarter revenue grew 19 percent on a reported basis and 23% at constant exchange rates to 158.1 million pounds. Focus Brands grew 37% at constant rates of exchange. The result was driven by top line focused interventions and strong demand for hygiene brands.

In Nigeria, the disposal of Nutricima milk business is on track with expected completion by end of September.

Jonathan Myers, Chief Executive Officer, said, "The first quarter results have given us a good start to the year with growth in all three regions and an improvement in profitability."

Looking ahead, the company said that while it remains very difficult to forecast and give guidance, it expects some adverse headwinds for the rest of the year following the good start.

Following a previously announced leave of absence from the Board for personal reasons, Tamara Minick-Scokalo, Non-executive Director, has advised the Company that she will step down from the Board with effect from the Annual General Meeting on November 26 and will not stand for re-election.

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