PZ Cussons to sell St. Tropez in bid to return to growth

By Austyn King | Published: 24-Apr-2024

The owner of Charles Worthington and Sanctuary Spa has struggled with declining sales with its Africa business hit by devaluation of the Nigerian naira

Beauty owner PZ Cussons is set to sell off its St. Tropez brand as part of a plan to return to growth amid declining sales.

The company – which owns brands including Charles Worthington and Sanctuary Spa – reported revenue of £126.7m for the third quarter of 2024, a 6.4% increase on the previous year.

However, this was impacted by a decline in revenue from reported foreign exchange rates, down by almost 24%, which PZ Cussons said was due to the devaluation of the Nigerian  naira.

Revenue excluding the group’s Africa business was down by 2.9% to £91m, an improvement on PZ Cussons’ 3.9% sales decline in the first half of 2024.

This was driven by improved sales in Europe and the Americas, with shower gel brand Original Source and skin care brand Childs Farm both reporting double digit revenue growth.  

Carex and Sanctuary Spa also saw growth in the single digits.

Revenue was down in the Asia Pacific region, however, partially as a result of “ongoing difficult market conditions” for the group’s Cussons Baby brand in Indonesia, putting pressure on consumer spending.

“We have made significant progress in strengthening PZ Cussons in recent years – building brands, restoring capabilities and re-energising and professionalising the organisation,” said Jonathan Myers, PZ Cussons’ CEO. 

However, he added that 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.”

As part of this, PZ Cussons plans to sell tanning brand St. Tropez, which it said has grown “significantly” since it was acquired by the company in 2010 for £62m.

It aims to sell the brand “to an owner better placed to capture the brand’s significant long-term potential” as part of its strategy to raise shareholder value.

The UK-based company is also reevaluating its Africa business amid the economic challenges in the region, with proceeds from any transactions going towards the organic growth of the business.

This will allow it to pursue further targeted acquisitions which complement its more focused beauty portfolio going forward, the group said.

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