Chelmsford: Chilly start to summer hits Britvic sales
TANGO and Robinsons soft drinks maker Britvic said yesterday that the damp and chilly start to the British summer had taken its toll on third quarter sales.
The Chelmsford-based company, which also holds the UK rights to Pepsi products, said that, despite weakening consumer spending, the soft drinks markets in the UK and Ireland had performed in line with expectations until the last four weeks of the period.
However, the coolest June for 10 years had seen the total UK market contract by 8.2% while the Irish market had fallen by 13.2% over the month.
Combined with strong comparatives for last year’s third quarter, boosted by the World Cup, the contraction in the market left the company’s underlying UK volumes down 2.5% during the quarter.
However, average retail price growth of 3.3% left UK revenues 0.7% ahead for the year and up by 2.8% for the year to date.
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In Ireland, revenue was down by 15.3% during the third quarter and by 10.8% for the year to date, with strong comparatives and poor weather compounded by continuing tough economic conditions.
Revenue at Britvic France was up 9% during the quarter on a pro-forma basis while revenue for the group’s Internation business were 5.3% ahead.
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Total revenues for the quarter were 12.2% ahead, with year-to-date growth of 20.5%, reflecting the benefit of the group’s Britvic France acquisition towards the end of last year’s third quarter.
Excluding the French business however, revenue during the quarter fell 1.8%, reducing growth for the year to date to 0.7%.
Britvic chief executive Paul Moody said the board remained confident of meeting expectations for the full year but continued to be cautions about the “challenging” trading conditions and consumer sentiment in its biggest markets.
Earlier this month, Britvic revealed plans to move its head office away from Chelmsford by the middle of next year although it will retain its factory in the town.
The company is seeking a site with better travel links, possibly near the junction of the M25 and M1 motorways.