Norwich factory owner Britvic posts sparkling results

Fruit Shoot production line

Picture: James Bass
For: EDP BUSINESS
EDP Pics © 2007    Tel: (01603) 772434 Fruit Shoot production line Picture: James Bass For: EDP BUSINESS EDP Pics © 2007 Tel: (01603) 772434

Wednesday, May 21, 2014
6:38 PM

Soft drinks producer Britvic bounced back with a fizzing rise in profits today as it unveiled far-reaching plans to expand into USA and India.

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General views around the Robinsons soft drinks factory at Carrow Works, Norwich.

Ready Drinks Department where the Robinsons brand Fruit Shoot drinks are produced.

Picture: James Bass
For: EDP BUSINESS
EDP Pics © 2007    Tel: (01603) 772434General views around the Robinsons soft drinks factory at Carrow Works, Norwich. Ready Drinks Department where the Robinsons brand Fruit Shoot drinks are produced. Picture: James Bass For: EDP BUSINESS EDP Pics © 2007 Tel: (01603) 772434

The Robinsons and Fruit Shoot maker – which has the “world’s biggest” squash factory at Carrow in Norwich – saw group pre-tax profits surge 21pc to £45.3m as revenues grew 4.7pc to £670.7m.

The better-than-expected results came as the company put the finishing touches to a deal to distribute Fruit Shoots across America – while plans remain “on track” to launch Fruit Shoot India by the end of this year.

The performance is far removed from its 2012 profits slump when the cost of recalling a new Fruit Shoot bottle sparked a 20pc fall.

Simon Litherland, chief executive officer, said: “This has been another period of solid progress for our business, as we continue to implement the strategy we announced last year.

General views around 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) 772434General views around 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

“We have delivered strong revenue, profit and margin growth in the first half of the year and our cost saving programme continues to gain traction across our business.

“We remain on-track to meet our target of £30m of annual cost savings by 2016. In addition, our international business is progressing well and the nationwide distribution of Fruit Shoot in the USA is an important milestone as we seek to exploit the international potential of our brands.”

The interim results for the 28 weeks ending April 13 2014 revealed a mixed European performance with France revenues up 7pc and Ireland revenues down 5.2pc.

Britvic failed to seal a merger with AG Barr last year sparking a cost-cutting programme to create a leaner business.

“While we anticipate that the consumer environment is likely to remain challenging across our core markets,” Mr Litherland added. “We remain confident of delivering EBIT in the range of £148m to £156m for the full year.”

• Do you have a business story for the EDP? Contact Ben Woods on 01603 772426 or ben.woods@archant.co.uk

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