East Anglia: Britvic sets sights on export drive after Fruit Shoot alert
PUBLISHED: 15:39 23 January 2013 | UPDATED: 15:44 23 January 2013
ROBINSONS parent company Britvic is to step up the overseas roll out of its Fruit Shoot drink as it recovers from a costly recall of the brand last year due to safety concerns over faulty bottle caps.
Britvic will increase the distribution of Fruit Shoot to 30 states across America by the summer, while the children’s drink will also launch in Spain in the spring.
The group, which includes production sites in Chelmsford and Norwich added that production had returned to levels seen before last July’s recall, which saw it withdraw all newly-designed bottles of Fruit Shoot and spin-off Fruit Shoot Hydro.
British sales volumes of its still drinks dropped 6.4% in the first quarter as it continued to be impacted by low supply of Fruit Shoot before production returned to normal this month.
Overall sales in Britain rose 2.1% by volume and 5.4% by value after a better performance from fizzy drinks, while overall revenues increased 4.8% with currency movements stripped out.
But Britvic, which is in the process of merging with Irn-Bru owner AG Barr in a £1.4billion deal, warned it had seen a slower start to the second quarter as wider economic conditions continue to hit consumer spending.
In November, Britvic was left nursing a 19% slide in annual profits to £84.4million after a £16.9m hit from the Fruit Shoot recall, which affected supply across the UK, France, Netherlands and Belgium.