After P&G, GSK, Another Consumer Goods Giant Moves to Exit Nigeria, Africa after 140 Years

After P&G, GSK, Another Consumer Goods Giant Moves to Exit Nigeria, Africa after 140 Years

  • PZ Cussons Plc has indicated interest in shutting down its operations in Africa due to sales challenges in Nigeria
  • The company stated that it is reassessing its operation on the continent, which could include a change of ownership
  • It said that it has received several approaches in the past months but has not yet decided to sell the firm’s Pascal Oparada has reported on tech, energy, stocks, investment and the economy for over a decade.

PZ Cussons Plc said on Wednesday, April 24, 2024, that it has begun a strategic review of its African businesses to exit Africa, partly due to economic challenges in Nigeria.

The company said its sales in Nigeria plunged by 48% due to the naira devaluation and inflation.

PZ Cussons to leave Africa, Nigeria
PZ Cussons discloses plans to exit Africa after sales drop Credit: Bloomberg / Contributor
Source: Getty Images

PZ Cussons to make change ownership

The CEO of PZ Cussons, Jonathan Myers, stressed the importance of looking towards the future while respecting the company’s past, stating that the review’s outcomes could include changes in ownership.

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Myers 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.”

Reports say the company’s CEO said that in addition to the challenges of the exposure in Nigeria, the group is too complex for its size, with financial and human resources spread too thin to generate returns.

He said the company has received several approaches over the years, stating that nothing is ruled out and that it has yet to indicate interest in selling its shares in the African consumer goods firm. 

PZ Cussons leaving due to forex problems

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The company began operations in Sierra Leon 140 years ago and gets about 30% of its sales from Africa, even after a 48% drop over the past year.

Vanguard reports that PZ Cussons recorded annual sales of about $622 million across locations and product lines, including Europe, the Americas, and the Asia Pacific region.

The company is one of the many consumer goods groups reappraising their options in Nigeria due to its protracted forex challenges, making it harder for multinationals to repatriate their earnings.

Top companies that exited Nigeria

Other consumer goods firms have scaled down operations in Nigeria.

Unilever stopped manufacturing some homecare and skin-cleansing products in Nigeria last year.

GSK’s Nigeria partner also scaled down its business operations in Nigeria in 2023, leading to the skyrocketing price of drugs.

The company shut down its distribution of critical medicines and switched to third-party Nigerian companies.

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Germany’s Bayer and French giant Sanofi, which makes polio vaccines, have also left the country.

Consumer Giant P&G dissolves operations in Nigeria previously reported that leading consumer goods manufacturer Procter & Gamble has revealed plans to dissolve its on-ground operations in Nigeria and turn it into an import market.

The company's Chief Financial Officer, Andre Schulten, disclosed this during a presentation at the Morgan Stanley Global Consumer and Retail Conference.

The consumer giant stated that it is challenging to do business in Nigeria as a dollar-dependent company and that the macroeconomic reality in Nigeria is responsible for its decision.


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