PZ to exit Africa amid plunge in revenue

Onwubuke Melvin
Onwubuke Melvin

PZ Cussons Plc has announced that it has started a strategic assessment of its business in Africa, with a view of exiting the continent, which is particularly attributed to economic challenges in Nigeria such as inflation and the devaluation of the naira, which has significantly impacted the company’s sales and operations, resulting in a 48 percent sales plunge.

This was disclosed in a statement by the Chief Executive Officer of PZ Cussons, Jonathan Myers on Wednesday, according to Vanguard.

Myers underlined the importance of looking to the future while respecting the company’s past, indicating that changes in ownership could occur as a result of these reviews.

He said “The macro-economic challenges and complexities associated with operating in Nigeria are significant and there is much more to do to unlock the full potential of the business.

“As such, we have undertaken a strategic review of our brands and geographies and have embarked on plans to transform our portfolio, refocusing on where the business can be most competitive.

“In addition to the challenges of the significant exposure to Nigeria, the group is too complex for its size, with financial and human resources spread too thinly to generate consistent returns.

“This means its competitive advantages have been constrained in comparison to those of both larger multinational companies and some focused smaller ones.

“We have to have an eye on the future as well as a respect for the past. There could be many permutations of the outcome, which could include a change in ownership. We’re going to be objective and not emotional in how we make this decision.”

Myers noted that PZ had been receiving several tranches of proposals over the years.

“Nothing is ruled out, we see a number of tranches of potential value, whether that is to us or someone else, but we have not put the ‘for sale’ sign up,” he added.

The British consumer goods group was established in Sierra Leone 140 years ago and now gets almost 30 per cent of its sales from Africa.

It has annual sales of around $622 million, spread across many locations and product lines, including Europe, the Americas, and the Asia-Pacific.

PZ Group recently announced a loss of 48 per cent in revenue last year

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