Britvic forced to switch lids after failing to pinpoint cause of Robinsons Fruit Shoot safety problem

12:13 11 July 2012

Views from the Robinsons soft drinks factory at Carrow Works, Norwich  Robinsons Fruit Shoot production line   Picture: James Bass  For: EDP BUSINESS  EDP Pics © 2007    Tel: (01603) 772434

Views from the Robinsons soft drinks factory at Carrow Works, Norwich Robinsons Fruit Shoot production line Picture: James Bass For: EDP BUSINESS EDP Pics © 2007 Tel: (01603) 772434

Archant Norfolk Photographic © 2007

Drinks firm Britvic today announced that it was to switch to an alternative cap for its Robinsons Fruit Shoot drinks after failing to pinpoint the cause of a fault which had sparked a safety scare which looks set to cost the firm up to £25m.

The firm last week announced the recall of all Robinsons Fruit Shoot and Fruit Shoot Hydro packs featuring the new design cap, which are produced at its facilities in Norwich and Chelmsford after fears that it could detach and become a choking hazard.

In a statement to the London Stock Exchange today, Britvic said that despite its ongoing investigations, it has been unable to speedily resolve the issues regarding the new design cap.

The statement said: “Therefore we have decided to re-supply with an alternative in-market proven sports cap, in the short term. As a result we will start to re-supply customers in six weeks, with a gradual increase to enable us to meet historic levels of demand within six months. It is difficult to be precise as to the full financial implications given the developing situation.

“In addition to the previously guided cost of the consumer recall, the now extended period of absence from the market along with a restriction on available cap production capacity of up to six months results in a material financial change. We believe this will now have an impact on the group profit before tax in the region of £15m to £25m across the current and next financial year. This includes an anticipated impact in 2013 financial year of between £5m and £7m.

“There will be an additional negative impact on working capital which will reverse in 2013.

“As previously announced, this recall does not affect Fruit Shoot in the USA, Australia or Republic of Ireland. Fruit Shoot My-5 is not being recalled. No other Robinsons products are affected.

In an update on its current trading Britvic also said it was expecting to deliver a year end result “at the bottom end” of market expectations.

“In May we reported that the UK soft drinks market and our trading had been adversely affected by poor weather conditions and weak consumer sentiment,” the statement added. “Since then trading conditions have not improved and the group now expects to deliver a result for the current financial year that is at the bottom end of market expectations, before taking account of the impact of the Fruit Shoot recall.”

A further update on results and trading will be provided with in its third quarter interim statement on July 19.

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