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PZ Cussons Beaten By An Expected Backdrop of Challenges

PZ Cussons PZC produces one of the strangest apologias for a bad performance, seen in recent months. It faced, they claim, a backdrop full of challenges across most of the markets where they operate and as these were expected, the bad results present a solid performance.

What is the logic or thinking behind that, one must ask. If they knew about the forthcoming challenges, the Board had time to prepare for them. That is what directors are supposed to be there for. The results indicate that they failed  so instead they blame macro economic conditions, especially in Nigeria for their bad performance. Tough unspecified trading conditions in Australia also get some of the blame but the board seems lost for an explanation as to why they failed there, so does not even attempt to give one.

The Washing and Bathing division in the UK did put in a robust performance but the Beauty Division had a poor summer. Presumably as Brexit  began to loom UK ladies decided that they would leave the EU clean but ugly.

The results for the half year to the 30th November speak for themselves with profit before tax down by 37.8% and basic earnings per share down by 32%.  In the opinion of the Board this merits an increase in the interim dividend of 2.3% which also speaks for itself and for the attitude of the Board.

EasyJet EZJ claims a solid performance in the quarter to 31st December but clearly appears to be losing out to Ryanair. Firstly it has abandoned the pretence of being a budget airline which means its performance does not need to be measured against that of Ryanair. Secondly it appears to be definately ex growth, except so far as capacity is concerned. Passngers carried rose by 8.2% but capacity increased by 8.6%. Load factor fell by 0.3% to 90% in stark contrast to Ryanairs performance and whilst revenue rose by 7.2%, revenue per seat fell by an unhealthy 8.2%. Non seat revenue saved the day with a rise of 19%. Two of the 3 months in the quarter saw a rise in late arrivals, a decline which was also mirrored in the two previous quarters.

Empresario Group EMR expects its results for the year to 31st December will be strong and slightly ahead of expectations, Adjusted profit before tax should  have grown by 23%, to stand at record levels. Earlier uncertainty in the UK has stabilised and 2017 should see exciting growth opportunities for the company

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