December 13, 2018 / 8:05 AM / 3 months ago

UPDATE 1-PZ Cussons warns of weakening demand, Nigeria challenges

(Adds details on results, background)

Dec 13 (Reuters) - Soap and cosmetics maker PZ Cussons Plc warned on Thursday it was facing weaker consumer demand across its main markets, with its dominant African business hampered by a weakened economy and currency in Nigeria.

The owner of the Imperial Leather brand faced major disruptions in getting goods into Nigeria, and first-half contribution to profits from the west African country, its single largest market, would be lower than a year earlier.

The company, which also houses the Carex, Five:am and Morning Fresh brands, said it would continue to review its Nigerian business and look to further “optimise” prices and pack sizes of its products as profit margins remain under pressure.

PZ Cussons, which gets about 36 percent of its revenue from Africa, said product launches and distribution expansion was helping it to grow its business in Europe and Asia.

Important brands including Imperial Leather, Carex and Original Source saw strong growth in Europe, helped by product launches and new marketing campaigns. (Reporting by Tanishaa Nadkar and Arathy S Nair in Bengaluru; editing by Patrick Graham and Sai Sachin Ravikumar)

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