Cussons wants to stop being seen as a ‘mysterious’ company in City circles and open up more lines of communication with investors.
The hire of Hogarth – which replaces six-year incumbent Weber Shandwick Financial (formerly Weber Shandwick Square Mile) – comes as Cussons seeks to expand globally, particularly in developing countries.
‘We realised there is need for change in communications to continue moving forward progressively,’ said Cussons deputy chairman Graham Calder. ‘To take advantage of opportunities in developing countries we need to open up dialogue with potential investors.’
Hogarth was recommended to the Cussons board by a non-executive director.
In January, the company reported £30.2m in pre-tax profits for the six months to the end of November 2006. Over the same period, turnover grew by eight per cent to £279.8m. The figures were attributed to growth in developing nations.
Cussons said in a statement: ‘The outlook for the full year remains positive despite the impact of the continued weak dollar.
The group’s focus remains on growth and margin improvement in selected geographical markets, particularly Nigeria.’
Cussons’ trading history dates back nearly 130 years, and the company has been listed since 1957.
It was initially a trading post in Sierra Leone, set up in 1879 by George Paterson and George Zochonis (hence the ‘P’ and the ‘Z’), and has since had a major presence in Africa.
Today its biggest presence is in Nigeria, but the company also operates in Ghana, Kenya, Indonesia, Thailand, Australia, Poland, Greece and the UK.
Its global headquarters are located in Stockport.