SOAP maker PZ Cussons yesterday chalked up its 40th consecutive year of dividend increases after lower raw material costs and manufacturing costs savings helped return the Manchester-based group to profit growth.
The owner of brands such as Imperial Leather, Open Source and St Tropez increased its total dividend by 10 per cent to 7.39p on the back of a 16.5 per cent rise in pre-tax profits for the year to 31 May to £107.5 million. Chairman Richard Harvey said: “Growth came from all regions of Europe, Asia and Africa and in particular from the key markets of UK, Indonesia and Nigeria.
“This has been achieved despite challenging external factors such as the difficult trading environment in Europe, high wage inflation in Indonesia and the continuing unrest in the north of Nigeria.”
Sales edged up by 2.8 per cent £883.2m, with Canaccord Adams noting it is starting to distribute its Indonesian brands in the Philippines and Vietnam.