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Sales rise at soap maker PZ Cussons as pandemic boosts demand

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Henry Saker-Clark, PA City Reporter
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Soap maker PZ Cussons has said that pandemic-boosted demand for hygiene products has continued to push sales higher.

The Manchester-based business told investors on Tuesday that its revenues jumped by 4.7% to £145.3 million for the three months to February 27.

It said its Carex brand performed particularly “strongly” in the UK in the third quarter of its financial year as the pandemic helped drive demand for hand-soap.

The group’s Original Source brand also returned to sales growth during the quarter.

The company said its balance sheet remains “robust”, with net debt at £35 million at the end of February compared with £116 million a year earlier.

Despite market volatility, PZ Cussons said it is on track to perform in line with its expectations for the current year.

Chief executive officer Jonathan Myers said the company will continue to invest in its brands during the current quarter “to maintain momentum” for the rest of the financial year.

He said: “Our third-quarter results maintained the renewed momentum of our business despite the quarter ending with the anniversary of the start of the global Covid-19 pandemic.

“The encouraging growth was broad-based, with all regions delivering top and bottom-line growth, enabling the group to deliver operating margins ahead of Q3 last year, while continuing to increase investment behind our ‘must win brands’ and new strategic capabilities.

“Looking ahead, we will continue to proactively navigate the volatility of the pandemic, the competitive landscape and commodity cost headwinds, but at the same time remain focused on executing the initial phase of our new strategy.”

Shares in the company were flat at 268.3p in early trading on Tuesday.