Britvic grows Irish revenues 15% ahead of sugar tax

By Geoff Percival

British soft drinks group Britvic saw first-half revenues in Ireland increase over 15% on a year-on-year basis. It owns the likes of MiWadi, Ballygowan and Club.

Britvic Ireland generated revenues of £86.6m (€99m) in the six months to the end of April, up from £75.1m for the same period last year.

The company largely attributed the growth of 13.1% when measured on a constant currency basis to progress at its Counterpoint wholesale business, which acquired Dundalk Co Louth-based wholesaler East Coast Suppliers last year.

However, it also said that it saw revenue and market share growth across its low and non-sugar brands including MiWadi, Pepsi Max, which it distributes here, and Bally-gowan.

On a group-wide basis, Britvic increased first-half revenues by 2.8%, year-on-year, to £733.2m, but post-tax profits fell nearly 14% to £33.3m. That fall was partially due to nearly £22m in costs relating to Britvic’s planned business capability programme.

The latest trading period preceded the recent introduction of taxes on sugar-sweetened drinks in Ireland and the UK.

However, group chief executive Simon Litherland suggested little effect is in store.

“While it is too soon to guide on the ongoing consumer impact of the soft drinks levy, early indications of the competitor and customer response are broadly as we anticipated,” he said.

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