Soft drinks group confident of future growth

Nichols’ CEO Andrew Milne said the group is pleased with an encouraging first half performance and is confident of future growth in the soft drinks market.

Nichols reported group revenue of £85.5m for the six months to June 30, 2023, up from £80.2m. Its pre-tax profit also increased from £10.1m to £11.2m over the same period.

Andrew Milne, chief executive officer, commented: “We are pleased with our encouraging first half performance which again reflects the strength of the Vimto brand. Particularly pleasing is the growth in our core packaged business, and the continued accelerated momentum across our international markets with very strong performances in Africa, the Middle East and the rest of the world.

In Africa, revenues were up 26.1% to £13.1m. Middle East revenues in the period also improved, by 17.5%, with in-market volumes performing well through Vimto’s typically strong trading period of Ramadan.

The company’s rest of world markets saw revenue growth of 29.8%, with the US and Europe continuing to perform well, building on increased brand awareness and strong in-market execution. UK packaged revenues were ahead 4.5% at £43.1m.

The Group achieved significant strategic progress during the period, particularly in relation to our out of home business where Nichols is making changes to simplify operations and focus on the areas of “greatest opportunity and profitability”.

“We are on-track to deliver the material benefits of these changes from FY 2024,” Milne added. “Meanwhile, we remain focused on accelerating growth in packaged, both in the UK and internationally, in line with our strategic plan. We are mindful that consumer spend is still under pressure from continuing high levels of inflation. However, the Group’s track record, strong brands and diversified business model, alongside the resilience of the wider soft drinks market, support the Board’s confidence in the Group’s long-term growth prospects.”

The Vimto maker highlighted packaged revenues were up 10.4% to £64.5m, with a strong performance across all regions. Within this, the international packaged business performed particularly strongly, with revenues up 24.6% and all regions experiencing double-digit growth.

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