McPherson's eyes more beauty brands

Lady Jane, Swisspers and Manicare products owner McPherson's is eyeing more beauty brands due to their resilience to tough trading conditions.

The company, which also owns homeware brands such as Wiltshire and Stanley Rogers, announced a net profit of $10.91 million, up 7.6 per cent on the previous corresponding period's $10.14 million.

Sales revenue also grew 6.5 per cent to $153.2 million, from $143.9 million in the 2011/12 first half.

Managing director Paul Maguire said the revenue growth was underpinned by a 36 per cent increase in sales of its personal care products.

"The personal care and the household consumables which constitute about 70 per cent of our business are very resilient and not really affected by the retail conditions," he said.

The company also had a two per cent growth in household consumables products which includes cling wrap and aluminium foil maker Multix.

He said the personal care products division was also helped by the acquisitions of the Moosehead and Da Vinci cosmetics brands and the Footcare brand during 2012.

Mr Maguire said McPherson's was also on the lookout for more acquisitions particularly in the personal care category.

"Really for us acquisitions are high on the agenda," he said.

"We made two small acquisitions last year and I would expect to make one or more acquisitions in the next six to 12 months.

"Personal care acquisitions will be highly likely but also anything that will further diversify our channel base so our mix of business will change."

Mr Maguire said homeware sales fell by six per cent mainly due to changes to one retailer's private label range.

But he said new opportunities had opened up for a range with another major retailer.

"The housewares was affected by all those ranges changes but there is a discretionary spend in housewares," he said.

"For example you may not buy your Italian glassware range or a new lot of cutlery if you don't really need it, but you probably will buy a replacement kitchen tool or gadget."

The company will pay a fully franked dividend of 10 cents to shares on April 11.

McPherson's shares were up four cents, or 1.69 per cents to $2.40 at 1526.

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