PZ Cussons to Divest St Tropez Brand and Reevaluate African Operations Amid Financial Strain

PZ Cussons to Divest St Tropez Brand and Reevaluate African Operations Amid Financial Strain

THE WHAT?   PZ Cussons, the multinational company behind Imperial Leather, has announced strategic shifts including the sale of its St Tropez self-tanning brand and a thorough review of its operations in Africa, particularly in response to economic challenges in Nigeria. This decision follows a comprehensive review aimed at sharpening the company’s focus on more competitive sectors of its portfolio.

THE DETAILS   Acquired in 2010 for £62.5 million, St Tropez is set to be sold to a new owner capable of maximizing its long-term market potential, signaling PZ Cussons’ intent to streamline its brand portfolio. Meanwhile, the company is grappling with significant economic volatility in Nigeria, a critical market that contributes over a third of its sales. This includes dealing with a severe devaluation of the Nigerian naira and record-high inflation rates, impacting the company’s overall financial performance. For the three months ending March 31, 2024, PZ Cussons reported a revenue decline of 23.7%, although like-for-like sales adjusted for currency fluctuations saw a 6.4% increase.

THE WHY? The strategic refocus comes as PZ Cussons faces a £94.2 million loss for the half-year to December 2023, prompted by adverse economic conditions in Nigeria and complex asset management across Africa. The company acknowledges that its current spread across various markets and sectors has diluted its competitive edge, particularly against larger multinationals and more specialized firms. CEO Jonathan Myers emphasized the need for a transformative approach to tackle macro-economic challenges and streamline operations to harness the business’s full potential.

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