In Europe, in the UK washing and bathing division, an ongoing program of new product development has ensured that the core brands of Imperial Leather, Carex and Original Source have continued to perform well despite intense promotional activity in the trade and a challenging consumer environment. Cussons Mum & Me, the new range of products for mother and baby, has seen sales rates continuing to build as new customers are attracted to the brand, according to the company.
In the beauty division, growth has been achieved in existing markets through new product launches and expansion into new distribution channels, as well as entry into new overseas markets such as Poland, Germany and Canada. Last month’s appointment of Kate Moss as the new face and body of St Tropez has paid off; sales rates have already responded positively following an extensive PR campaign both in the UK and overseas and the roll out of new in-store imagery, the company said. The beauty unit also recently launched new range of products under the Sanctuary Active Reverse range with Darcey Bussell continuing as brand ambassador.
In Asia, PZ Cussons said its Australian business has now moved firmly back into profitability following the successful restructuring of the business last year. Both the homecare and personal care portfolios are performing well despite the tough trading environment. The Indonesia business has delivered another year of double digit revenue growth although a weaker rupiah and high wage inflation have limited the growth in profitability. Revenue growth has been achieved in both the baby care and non baby care portfolios as well as through wider distribution into new markets such as the Philippines, Myanmar and Vietnam.
In Africa, the company said that unrest in the north of Nigeria has continued with both domestic sales and exports being affected during the peak trading season. Nevertheless, the trading environment in the rest of the country has been more robust with no further fuel duty related impact taking place, resulting in an overall increase in sales in the second half of the year. Performance in the smaller territories of Ghana and Kenya has been in line with expectations.