Shares of PZ Cussons Plc slipped on Wednesday after the soap maker reported a fall in half-year operating margin hit by high costs, although price increases pushed up profit.
Shares fell about 6% to 202 pence in early trading after its adjusted operating profit margin of 9.9% came in below a market consensus of 10.4%, according to Barclays analysts.
Operating Margin Decline
The maker of Imperial Leather soap and Carex hand wash said its operating margin for Europe and the Americas market declined due to low consumer confidence in the UK and softer demand for hygiene products post-pandemic.
The Manchester company, which also makes self-tanning products, said adjusted pre-tax profit rose to £34.5 million ($41.5 million) in the six months that ended 3 December from £32 million a year earlier.
The company, however, left its full-year outlook unchanged and projected margins to improve in the second half as cost inflation eases, and the full impact of price increases will be realised.
Last April the soap maker PZ Cussons Plc warned of challenging months ahead as input costs in the consumer sector are on the rise and household budgets may come under pressure amid broadening inflationary risks.
The company acquired Childs Farm, a baby and child personal care brand.
Products under the Childs Farm brand include bath and shower, skincare and haircare products, all of which are tailored for sensitive skin.
Read More: Britain's PZ Cussons Flags Challenging Months Ahead As Costs Surge
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