Blog: Dean BestPZ Cussons shines light on doing business in Greece

Dean Best | 21 July 2015

Food is a small part of the portfolio at PZ Cussons, the UK-based FMCG group better known for brands including Imperial Leather soap and Charles Worthington shampoo. However, the company is a major olive oil manufacturer in Greece and today (21 July) indicated how it is navigating the country's ailing economy.

Announcing its results for the year to the end of May, PZ Cussons said its revenue in Greece had fallen year-on-year but it had managed to increase profits with "good growth" across its local range edible oils, cheeses and spreads.

PZ Cussons said its portfolio of "staples" had helped, while earnings were boosted by the company's acquisition in December (first revealed today) of local vinegar brand Top.

However, finance director Brandon Leigh said PZ Cussons was receiving payments in cash from its retail customers and was also paying its suppliers that way.

"It’s a bit challenging operationally, but we’re actually being paid a bit quicker," Leigh said in a report carried by The Daily Telegraph.

Elsewhere, PZ Cussons gave some indication of how its recently-acquired food assets in Australia had performed in its last financial year.

In the last couple of years, PZ Cussons has made some steps to expand further into food with two acquisitions in Australia. In 2013, the company bought Australian baby food business Rafferty's Garden and last year it snapped up local yoghurt maker Five:Am. (You can read our analysis of the Rafferty's Garden deal here and our take on the Five:Am transaction here).

In today's announcement, PZ Cussons said the food businesses had "performed extremely well" and were helping to offset "challenges" in its larger home care division in Asia, as well as currency challenges.

During the year, Rafferty's Garden was launched into New Zealand and China. The Five:Am brand, meanwhile, saw its range widen with new products such as granolas. More "range extensions" are planned in the coming year, PZ Cussons said.

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