Ballygowan and Pepsi Max boost Britvic revenues

Pádraig Hoare

Shares of drinks firm Britvic rose more than 4% as it reported a 3.4% increase in third-quarter revenues, boosted by Ballygowan sales in the Republic and Pepsi Max in the UK.

The maker of Fruit Shoot, Robinsons, Tango and MiWadi said sales in the Republic rose 11.3%, with a strong performance by Ballygowan due to the warm weather. Third-quarter revenue for the group was just under £367m (€412m), a rise of 3.4% compared to the same period a year ago. Year-to-date revenue increased 4.2% to £1.1bn, the firm said.

In Britain, revenue increased 8%, boosted by Pepsi Max sales. The firm produces and sells Pepsi products, such as Pepsi, 7UP and Mountain Dew Energy, in the Republic and the UK.

Sales of Robinsons and J20 were also strong performers in the UK, it said.

International revenue increased 8.7% in the quarter, with Fruit Shoot sales in the US up because of increased distribution and additional listings secured, it said.

The firm said the revenue boost came despite a disruption to the carbon dioxide supply into the UK and the Republic within the period, which impacted the food and drink industry, including carbonated soft drinks.

“To ensure continuity of supply across all trading channels, we temporarily scaled back our promotional activity and reallocated some of our secondary feature space to stills. Supply has now normalised, enabling us to start rebuilding stock levels and gradually reintroduce promotions,” it said.

Chief executive Simon Litherland said: “Whilst the industry-wide shortage of carbon dioxide held back our ability to fully capitalise on the exceptional weather in Britain and Ireland, we leveraged the breadth and strength of our portfolio to moderate the impact. Consequently, we remain confident of achieving market expectations for the full year.”

It is still too early to tell what impact the sugar tax will have in the Republic, the firm said, adding it would have a better view at its full-year end in September.

Some 75% of Britvic’s portfolio is not subject to the sugar levy, due to its low- or no-sugar content and the last 11 products launched by Britvic Ireland are low- or no-sugar drinks, such as the Club Zero brands.

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