Sweet results for Britvic focusing on low sugar drinks

By Matt Atherton contact

- Last updated on GMT

J2O maker Britvic reported a profit rise of 10.3% in its full-year trading update
J2O maker Britvic reported a profit rise of 10.3% in its full-year trading update

Related tags: Soft drinks, Coca-cola

Soft drinks firm Britvic reported a 10.1% rise in annual sales revenue to £1.43bn, boosted by growth in its no and low sugar drinks, as the manufacturer strived to reduce sugar content before the sugar tax is introduced in April 2018.

Britvic reported a 10.3% rise in profit after tax to £114.5M in the 53 weeks to October 2. Its adjusted earnings per share were up 6.5% compared with the same period last year, to 49.3p.

Britivic’s Pepsi brand increased its market value by 6.7%, with the firm’s sugar-free Pepsi Max adding over £26M of sales. 7UP Free gained double digit retail value growth.

The proposed soft drinks levies created “additional uncertainty”​ over the year, the soft drinks maker said. Contributing to improved public health was a key goal for the firm, as it removed added sugar from its Fruit Shoot and Robinsons brands.

‘Additional uncertainty’

Britvic ceo Simon Litherland said: “Britvic believes in offering choice, whilst making it easier for consumers to reduce their calorific intake without compromising taste or quality. We are disappointed at the introduction of category-specific taxes, since we believe a holistic approach is necessary to tackle this complex issue.”

Britvic’s international markets performed “excellently”​, as Brazil reported £89.5M in revenue. The company was confident of meeting expectations through 2017, despite the challenging market surrounding the Brexit vote.

“Britvic has delivered another strong set of results in challenging market conditions,”​ said Litherland. “We are confident we will mitigate inflationary input costs through a combination of revenue management activities and internal cost saving initiatives.

‘Another challenging year’

“The new financial year has started well and although 2017 will be another challenging year, we expect to deliver pre-exceptional earnings before interest, taxes and amortisation (EBITA) in line with current market expectations.”

The manufacturer sold over 2.3bn litres of soft drinks over the 53 weeks – a 12.3% rise on the previous year. The average price of the drinks sold dropped by 3.3% to 59.2p, and its three-year supply chain reformulation – announced last year – is on track to improve EBITA return by at least 15%.

Meanwhile, the Coca-Cola company could face a £226M a year tax under the proposed soft drinks levy​. PepsiCo and Lucozade Energy owner Suntory Holdings face bills of £48M and £46M respectively.

Britvic annual trading update – at a glance

  • Revenue up 10.1% to £1.43bn
  • Profit after tax up 10.3% to £114.5M
  • Adjusted earnings per share up 6.5% to 49.3p

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