December 20 2014 Latest news:
Ben Woods, Business writer
Wednesday, May 21, 2014
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.
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.
“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.”
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