Britvic earnings fizz as sales in UK buzz

Soft drinks firm Britvic said its full-year adjusted core earnings rose 8.4 per cent, mainly as the company expanded its business in Brazil and on better sales in the UK.

Britvic. Photo credit : Chris Radburn/PA Wire

The company also said it was confident that its 2017 results would be in line with market expectations, even as it faced possible higher taxes from new regulations in the United Kingdom and Ireland and uncertainty caused by the EU referendum results.

Britvic has been one of the most outspoken challengers to the UK’s proposed taxation on high sugar content products and has been actively reducing the sugar content in its offerings.

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Adding to the company’s woes was the sterling’s fall after the EU referendum results, which the company expected to put pressure on its input costs in Britain.

Around one-third of the group’s raw materials used in the UK are purchased in euros and dollars.

The pound has lost 18 per cent against the dollar and 15 per cent against the euro since the June 23 referendum.

Sales in Britain, which accounted for nearly two-thirds of Britvic’s total revenue in the third quarter, rose about 3 per cent, helped by strong demand for Pepsi, Pepsi Max, 7UP and Tango brands among its carbonates.

The Robinsons squash maker, whose main markets are Britain, Ireland and France, said it earned pre-exceptional EBITA of £186.1m on revenue of £1.43bn for the year.

Simon Litherland, chief executive of Britvic, said: “Britvic has delivered another strong set of results in challenging market conditions. In our core markets, we continued to take market share with a particularly strong carbonates performance.

“Internationally, we have had an excellent first year in Brazil and Fruit Shoot continued to grow in France, USA with the launch of multi-pack, and latterly in Brazil following its recent launch in Sao Paulo.

“We are confident we will mitigate inflationary input costs through a combination of revenue management activities and internal cost saving initiatives. The new financial year has started well and although 2017 will be another challenging year, we expect to deliver pre-exceptional EBITA in line with current market expectations.”