Profits fizz for soft drinks maker following health drive

Soft drinks maker Britvic has seen a jump of 23 per cent in its annual profits.

The firm which makes Robinsons squash, has seen a rise in the sales of health-conscious fizzy drinks like sugar-free Pepsi Max.

Earnings lifted to £132.9m in the year to September 28 as its UK fizzy drinks brands grew by 4.4 per cent in a market which saw an overall decline.

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Group sales at the firm, which has a factory in Leeds employing around 150 people, rose by 1.7 per cent to £1.3bn.

Britvic, whose brands include, Tango, J2O and Fruit Shoot, produces Pepsi, 7UP and Mountain Dew Energy under an agreement with PepsiCo.

But Britvic said that this year had begun slowly reflecting increasingly challenging conditions, with shares falling more than 2 per cent.

During the period, sales of its still drinks, excluding water, fell 5 per cent, with Robinsons facing increasing competition from own-label squash.

Britvic’s premium juice drink, J20 also saw its market share fall as customer focus shifted to value, when shopping for the home or on nights out.

This year they also stopped selling full sugar versions of children’s drink Fruit Shoot, over health concerns.

The soft drink manufacturer added that cost savings would total £25m next year and that they are on track to deliver £30m of savings in 2016.