Soft drinks company Britvic has reported volume growth of 1.5% for year ending 28 September 2014.

In the UK the company said its carbonates portfolio continued to out-perform the market but there was only minor growth in its stills category. Britvic said a continued consumer focus on value had led to a slump in sales of its premium juice drinks, with J20 one of the brands affected.

The company’s preliminary results showed revenue growth of 2.4% to £1.3bn with group EBIT growth of 17.6% year-on-year to £158m.

The company said Pepsi had been the key driver of growth in its GB carbonates portfolio, led by a successful Pepsi Max promotion. The category saw volumes increase by 4.4%, with a revenue increase of 5.9% to £567m.

The GB stills portfolio saw volumes fall 4%, excluding plain water. The company said there had been successes, including growth in the emerging cold/hot drinks category, where market share was up 40%, driven by Lipton Ice Tea.

The company said: “As consumers continued to focus on value, both when shopping for home and on nights out, the premium juice drinks category has been challenged. J20, which is a premium priced brand, has seen some share decline, as a result of this trend.”

Britvic said since the launch of Counterpoint as a standalone licensed wholesaler to supply the pub and club trade across the Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland last year new categories, such as snacks and wine, had been added to the range to allow it to compete more effectively.

The company said there would be further investment in capacity in 2015 to support future growth, including £25m capital spend in a new high speed (polyethylene terephthalate) PET line and warehousing. H2will also see the launch of Fruit Shoot USA multipack launch. The company predicted 2015 EBIT in the range of £164m to £173m, underpinned by cost saving initiatives.

Chief executive Simon Litherland said: “This is a strong set of results and we have made excellent progress during the year implementing our new

strategy. We have delivered revenue and margin growth, and profit significantly ahead of last year, despite challenging trading conditions in each of our markets.

The year has begun slowly, reflecting the increasingly challenging trading conditions. However we are confident of further improving our profitability in 2015, as we bring to market our strong innovation and marketing plans and benefit from the delivery of the cost savings programme.”

 

 

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