Britvic, the maker of Robinsons and J20, said revenue growth had accelerated in the past five weeks as warmer May weather fueled beverage sales. And it said it is 'confident' of meeting its forecasts for the year according to CEO Paul Moody. First-half profit declined 29%, hurt by the cost of closing an Irish factory, Chelmsford, England-based Britvic said in a statement. The U.K. had its hottest start to May since 1772, with temperatures peaking at 27.5 degrees Celsius (81.5 degrees Fahrenheit), according to the U.K. Meteorological Office. Britvic, whose sales benefit from warmer weather, is looking to still beverages for growth as a ban on smoking in pubs and concern about obesity cut into sales of carbonated sodas. ``The first half of our year has been a period of modest growth for the soft drinks market overall, with improving growth trends evident in the early weeks of the second half,'' Moody said. ``We are well positioned to drive group earnings growth.'' Britvic rose as much as 11.5 pence, or 3.5 percent, to 337 pence in London trading and was at 332.25 pence as of 9:42 a.m. local time. The shares cost 230 pence each when the bottler went public in December 2005 and have slipped 4 percent this year. First-half sales gained 29% to£ 454.7 million, boosted by the acquisition of C&C Group Plc's Irish soft-drink unit last year, Britvic said today. Ballygowan mineral water was among brands acquired with the C&C purchase. Sales of still beverages in Britain rose 2.8% to £161.8m, while carbonated drinks revenue increased 0.4 percent to £185.4m. Net income fell to £4.9m, or 2.2 pence a share, in the 28 weeks ended April 13, from £6.9m, or 3.2 pence, a year earlier. One-time costs of £10.1m included an amount of £3.9m for shutting a plant in Cork, southern Ireland, and ending a distribution agreement. Britvic will close the factory this year to cut costs as beverage makers pay more for juices, glass and power. Profit was also weighed down by a rise in net finance costs to £14.2m from £9m. The soda maker became Purchase, New York-based PepsiCo's Irish bottler when it bought the C&C unit for about £170m. Britvic, which was started in the 19th century as a vitamin maker, raised its dividend by 15 percent to 3.8 pence a share. The company plans to introduce more products under PepsiCo brands such as a preservative-free Gatorade sports drink and Pepsi Raw. It has bottling accords with PepsiCo running through 2019 in Ireland and 2023 in the U.K. The beverage maker also has its own stable of products, from J2O and Robinsons fruit drinks to Drench mineral water and R Whites lemonade.