Essex soft drinks giant retains some fizz
Britvic plc, one of the UK’s leading soft drinks manufacturers, reported a solid trading performance for the year to 28th September 2008, despite the industry wide challenges of low consumer spending drop off in the licensed on-premise market and the impact of another wretched summer.
Boosted by the first full year of revenue figures from its Britivic Ireland operation, the Chelmsford-based group outperformed what is a generally declining market and declared revenue growth of 29.3 per cent to £926.5m over the previous year.
However, while the Britvic Ireland contributed £200.7m for the period and its revenue grew 6.2 per cent in sterling terms, this was attributable to exchange rate movements, with the division’s total euro revenues down by 6.4 per cent, mainly due to a low double-digit decline in the licensed on-premise market. The take-home market stabilised to a flat volume performance.
GB & International revenues of £725.8m represent growth of 4.8 per cent in the year, driven by GB stills revenue growth of 4.8 per cent and GB carbonates revenue growth of 4.1 per cent, both outperforming the wider market trends.
Stills volume growth was 8.1 per cent against a market volume decline of 2.7 per cent, carbonate volumes were up 4.3 per cent against market volume growth of 1.4 per cent, driven by further market volume and value share gains by Pepsi and 7UP.
“We have delivered a strong performance despite the disappointing weather, rising raw material and energy costs and the challenging market conditions,” said Britvic chief executive, Paul Moody.
“The business has achieved good revenue growth, increased market volume and value share with tight cost control helping to deliver our target of increasing GB & International operating profit margin by at least 10-15 basis points. Consequently, we expect to deliver earnings for the year in line with expectations.”