Britvic on track for FY 2010, but Irish market still "volatile"

By Elaine Watson

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags Soft drinks Caffeine Soft drink

Britvic on track for FY 2010, but Irish market still "volatile"
Soft drinks giant Britvic is confident of meeting profit expectations for the full year but has warned of continuing volatility in the Irish soft drinks market.

The firm, which posted a 16.2% rise in sales to £289.5m in the 12 weeks to July 3 – partly boosted by its recent acquisition in France​ - said underlying volume growth and sales growth rates were up 5.3% and 1.8% respectively.

Chief executive Paul Moody said: “We continue to remain cautious about consumer sentiment in our trading territories. But as a result of our strong performance in the quarter and in the year to date, the Board remains confident of meeting current market expectations for the full 2010 financial year."

However, it was too early to talk about a turnaround in Ireland: “The Irish soft drinks market remains volatile, with value declining in the grocery soft-drink market by 2.9% in the quarter, and by 11.3% in the licensed on-premise market. This, together with a relatively soft comparable quarter last year, means we remain cautious that the latest performance is not indicative of a sustained turnaround in the soft drinks market.”

Pepsi Raw under review

The British take-home soft drinks market proved stronger over the period, showing an increase of 2.5% in volumes and 6.3% in value, said the firm.

While the recent Pepsi Dream Team campaign had driven “significant additional volume and value share gain in the quarter for the Pepsi brand”​, there was no mention of ‘natural born cola’ Pepsi RAW, which was launched in 2008.

A spokeswoman declined to comment on the performance of the brand (which is marketed on an ‘all natural’​ platform and made with sparkling water, cane sugar, apple extract, ‘natural caffeine’ and kola nut extract).

However, it issued the following statement, fuelling rumours that RAW has not met expectations.

“We can confirm that RAW is currently being reviewed as part of a regular and ongoing assessment of the performance of each of our brands. We continue to support RAW as part of the Pepsi brand portfolio, and Britvic remains committed to providing a wide range of soft drinks, including products with all natural ingredients.”

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