Britvic confident despite smoke ban, low consumer spending

30-01-2008

Britvic confident despite smoke ban, low consumer spending
Britvic has reported that year-on-year total revenues in the third quarter increased 31.2 per cent, while UK soft drink sales volumes continue to falter.

Total revenues were £214 million, up from £146.3 million 12 months earlier, the company said in a statement today.

The Chelmsford-based drinks business said it experienced strong international sales growth with its new Fruit Shoot in the Netherlands, and Robinsons squash in Sweden, Finland and Denmark.

Britvic, the second-biggest UK soft drinks maker, said it out-performed the market with stills growth of 1.2 per cent, carbonates growth of 0.4 per cent and international growth of 12 per cent.

"GB pricing levels were maintained in the period with revenue growth driven mainly by volume," Britvic chairman Gerald Corbett said.

The maker of J2O blamed the smoking ban and decreased consumer spending for losses in on-premise soft drink sales, which declined five per cent last quarter.

"Whilst the stills market volumes are down, the rate of decline in the category has fallen consistently over recent months which is in line with our expectations," Mr Corbett said in the interim management report.

"We continue to anticipate a return to growth in due course."

The company, which bottles Pepsi-Cola and 7 Up, has seen its shares chip off just over three per cent to 298p after starting the day above 308p per share.

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