Sales: $1.3 billion
Key Personnel: Alex Kanellis, group chief executive; Chris Davis, commercial director; Brandon Leigh, group finance director; John Pantelireis, supply chain director; Michelle Feeney CEO, PZ Cussons Beauty.
Major Products: Personal care, toiletries beauty and hair care—Imperial Leather, Joy, Cussons Baby, Robb, Cussons Pure, Premier, Carex, Venus, Luksja, Original Source, Sanctuary Spa, Charles Worthington, St. Tropez, Fudge. Household products—Morning Fresh, Radiant, Robb, Duck.
New Products: St.Tropez Self Tan Bronzing Lotion Face, St. Tropez Gradual Tan Plus Firming, Sanctuary Spa Ultimate Moisture Trio, Sanctuary Active Reverse, Fudge Paintbox Turquoise Blue and Yellow Fever shades, Radiant unit dose liquid laundry detergent.
Comments: Sales rose nearly 5% for the year ended May 31, 2012, despite challenging conditions in Nigeria and Australia—two key markets for PZ Cussons.
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, the company said.
Having formed this beauty unit only the year before, PZ Cussons has taken major steps to raise its profile, adding boldface names to promote its brands. The highlight has been the addition of supermodel Kate Moss as the face St. Tropez, which is sold in 18 countries.
Michelle Feeney, CEO of PZ Cussons Beauty, said Moss “epitomizes St.Tropez’s naturally glamorous approach to self-tanning and is a long-time advocate of the brand.” The company said that 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 St. Tropez brand has been on a tear in the US where revenue increased 2.5-fold to about $12 milion, the company said, thanks to distribution via Sephora, launching in more than 300 JC Penney Stores and extensive media coverage including QVC.
Also within beauty, Cussons recently tapped Nichola Joss as Sanctuary Spa global beauty ambassador, and made the line available in the US via QVC.
According to Cussons, new product development has ensured that core brands such as Imperial Leather, Carex and Original Source have continued to perform well despite intense promotional activity in the trade and a challenging consumer environment. For example, there’s Carex Protect Plus, which has a new technology that kills bacteria for up to two hours after use. In Africa, the Canoe brand was expanded from laundry soap to detergent and the Radiant Laundry range was bolstered with new liquid unit dose capsules.
The firm has also seen success with its Cussons Kids line, especially Indonesia, where the range has grown 32% year-on-year in a previously untapped market segment, the company said.
Cussons sold its Polish home care brands to Henkel in a $71 million cash deal. The accord included the E brand and certain smaller lines in laundry detergent, fabric conditioner and washing categories in the country as well as in central and eastern Europe. For the year ended May 31, 2012, revenue generated by these brands was about $79 million.
According to Alex Kanellis, chief executive of PZ Cussons Plc, the divestment will enable Cussons to focus on developing the personal care business in Poland and will further strengthen its balance sheet, improving flexibility to take advantage of new investment opportunities.