Fizzy drinks maker sales up but profits flat

ROBINSONS and Tango maker Britvic yesterday said sales growth had accelerated despite continued pressure on its performance in pubs and bars.

The group’s revenues in Britain were up four per cent in the six months to April 17, with the second quarter showing growth of 6.8 per cent after a reduction in promotional activity contributed to an increase in average prices.

The Chelmsford-based group, which holds the rights to sell Pepsi products in the UK, said that volumes of fizzy drinks rose by 4.7 per cent following an increase in sales through supermarkets and shops.

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However, this was partly offset by a decline of 6.1 per cent in still drinks, mainly caused by falling sales in the pub sector as a result of trading down from J20 and Britvic mixers to value categories such as on-tap carbonates.

Volumes of still drinks were also impacted by a softening of promotional activity in advance of the launch of Robinsons ‘double concentrate’ near the end of the period.

Group pre-tax profits were flat in the six months at £27.7m after the company faced an “unprecedented” period of cost inflation, such as the rising price of steel and sugar, as well as plastic material.