The rapid spread of the deadly H1N1 virus managed to fuel concerns about hand hygiene, which in turn has continued to boost the sales of Carex soap, leading to a boom in the profits at PZ Cussons, the consumer products company. The high sales led the company to announce that it would be issuing higher interim dividend.
The group managed to outperform its competitors across Europe, and the success helped it balance the losses it suffered as a result of cut back on lending in Nigeria which hit the sales of air conditioners and refrigerators.
On the news, PZ Cusson shares hiked by 3.3%, or 8.1 pence, trade at a new high os 255.1 pence in Tuesday's early session.
"In the comparative period last year, swine flu was only just starting. We saw a steady increase in Carex sales through to the end of our financial year last year. Clearly the sales rates are not [now] at the levels they were when swine flu was peaking in the headlines, but Carex sales are still ahead of historical levels", said Brandon Leigh, Finance Director of PZ Cussons.
For the 6 months up-to November end, the company reported strong sales growth across Europe, and a jump of 28% in before-tax profits, with a 1% rise in revenue.
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