Britvic has reported a 5.3% decline in soft drinks volumes in Great Britain for its third quarter, blaming the coolest June weather since 2001 and strong comparables against a period last year that included good weather and the World Cup last year. Underlying volume in the GB market fell 2.5% for the period after adjusting for the impact of switching to double concentrate on some products, including Robinsons, and was offset by a 3.3% rise in the Average Realised Price (ARP). GB Q3 revenue grew 0.7% with carbonates up 4.4% despite a period of increase promotional intensity from competitors while stills revenue was down by 4.2%. GB volume performance was down 1.9% — the first quarter of volume decline in two years — against its second quarter although value grew 3.2%. Britvic warned the total soft drinks markets in GB and Ireland had “contracted sharply” in the last four weeks in terms of volume and value with market volumes down 8.2% in GB and 13.2% in Ireland. Overall, third quarter group revenue increased by 12.2% reflecting the Britvic France acquisition last year. Excluding France, revenue declined 1.8% with Ireland’s poor performance a “significant” factor. In Ireland, revenue fell 15.3% on last year. “The weather in June had a negative impact on promotional activity around the Wimbledon tennis event, which is an important focus period for the Robinsons brand,” it said. Britvic has retained its guidance on raw materials inflation of around 9-11% for the 2011 financial year. “During the third quarter, the soft drinks markets in GB and Ireland were adversely affected by the poor weather in June, whilst the comparative period in 2010 was strong reflecting both good weather and the football World Cup,” said Paul Moody, chief executive. “Nevertheless, Britvic delivered revenue growth across the GB, International and France business units, although Ireland showed a decline. The actions we have taken to proactively manage ARP and margins against such challenging market conditions underpin the Board’s current confidence in meeting its expectations for the full year. “However, we continue to be cautious about the challenging trading conditions and the impact of consumer sentiment in our largest markets as we move into the final quarter of the financial year.”