Britvic gains foothold in French soft drinks market

By Elaine Watson

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags Soft drinks market Soft drink Britvic Brand

Britvic gains foothold in French soft drinks market
Britvic has gained a foothold in the €12.5bn French soft drinks market with a €237m deal to acquire soft drinks firm Fruité that will "serve as a platform for growth across Western Europe".

Britvic, which posted a 39% rise in first half pre-tax profit to £27.8m on sales up 4.6% to £505.3m, said Fruité’s four factories would “provide a platform from which to target other continental markets”.

More than €10m of cost synergies by 2013 from a number of areas including procurement and supply-chain had already been identified, said Britvic chief executive Paul Moody (pictured above), who said Fruité’s strengths in dilutables and pure juice were “highly complementary to Britvic’s existing balanced portfolio of strong brands”.

He added:“This should provide opportunities to leverage both operational and commercial best practices from both businesses to grow Britvic’s dilutables franchise, most notably in brand management, category management and pack and price architecture.”

Fruite's range includes dilutable syrup brands Teisseire and Moulin de Valdonne and pure juice brand Pressade.

UK take-home market back in growth

There was also positive news from the UK take-home soft drinks market, which had returned to growth with sales volumes up 1.4% in the first half, said Moody.

This contrasted with a 3% year-on-year decline in the same period last year, said the firm, which also clocked a modest rise in sales volumes to the on-trade.

Still drinks continued to outperform carbonates, said Moody:“In the GB take-home market, stills volumes continue to grow ahead of carbonates for the third consecutive quarter, with strong growth from the plain water category [up 6.5%] and sports drinks [up 4.6%], leading to a total GB take-home stills market volume growth of 2.1%.”

By contrast, take-home carbonates volumes were up just 0.7% over the same period.

Ireland still struggling

The Irish market was the most challenging, said Moody, with volumes up 2.8% but value down 10.6%: “The Irish grocery market is seeing price deflation, demonstrated by a decline in value of nearly 11%, whilst the decline in licensed has continued, this time by 13%. We have responded with a series of pricing initiatives.”

Britvic owns brands including Robinsons, Tango, drench, J2O and Fruit Shoot. It also produces, markets, sells and distributes PepsiCo products under licence.

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