PZ Cussons Nigeria Rises to 18-Month High on Profit

PZ Cussons Nigeria Plc, a consumer products manufacturer, rose to the highest in 18 months after it said first-half profit almost doubled.

The stock climbed 5.9 percent to 34 naira, the highest since Aug. 1, 2011. More than double the three-month daily average number of shares traded, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.

Net income for the six months through November jumped to 1.5 billion naira ($9.5 million) from 786 million naira a year earlier, the Lagos-based company said in a statement published on the website of the Nigerian Stock Exchange. Revenue fell to 31 billion naira from 32.3 billion naira.

PZ’s sales “were broadly in line” with estimates, Lagos-based FBN Capital said today in an e-mailed note to clients. Margins were boosted by a 29 percent decline in the price of crude palm oil, a major raw material for its products, according to the Lagos-based brokerage. This compensated “to a large extent” for the impact on sales of higher fuel prices with the partial end of subsidies, the Islamist insurgency in the north and the floods that swept large parts of the country, it said.

FBN Capital rates the shares of PZ Cussons underperform. The shares have advanced 21 percent this year, compared with a 13 percent rise in the Nigerian Stock Exchange All-Share Index.