Ballygowan and Club Orange owner warns of 'challenging' Irish market

British soft drinks producer Britvic has said it is continuing to see "challenging" conditions in the Irish market and a further softening in sales performance here since the halfway point of the group's financial year.

Ballygowan and Club Orange owner warns of 'challenging' Irish market

British soft drinks producer Britvic has said it is continuing to see "challenging" conditions in the Irish market and a further softening in sales performance here since the halfway point of the group's financial year.

The group owns a number of well-known Irish soft drinks brands including Ballygowan, Club and MiWadi.

In a brief trading update Britvic reported a 1.5% year-on-year drop in third quarter revenue to just over £360m (€404m).

It said it grew revenue in its core UK market and in its international distribution business.

However, in its other main markets of Ireland and France, Britvic said performance "remained more challenging, with a further softening since the half-year".

In May, Britvic said its Irish revenues fell by nearly 1%, to €103m, in the first half of its financial year.

It said the Government's tax on sugar-sweetened drinks only played a minor role and a fall in the sale of third-party alcohol brands to pubs, via its Counterpoint wholesale division, was the main driver.

Since then, the company said bad weather in the early part of the summer had a negative impact on sales in Ireland.

Like many other drinks companies and retailers, bad weather in June impacted performance - the month comparing unfavourably to one of record temperatures and consistent sunshine last year.

"Overall, we have delivered a solid performance against a more challenging backdrop in quarter three. We remain confident of achieving market expectations for the full year, underpinned by the strength of our brand portfolio," said group chief executive Simon Litherland.

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