Efficiency drive maintains Britvic's summer fizz

By Neil Merrett

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags: Drink, Coffee

While beverage groups continue to lament the affects of recent
British weather conditions on their operations, soft-drink producer
Britvic forecasts a sunnier outlook for its interests in the UK and
Ireland.

The group said yesterday that it expects to offset the negative impacts of the recent heavy rainfall, while its planned acquisition of Irish group C&C's soft drink division (CCSD) has also received approval by the country's competition body. With beverage processors coming under increased cost pressures for packaging and ingredients, manufacturers are increasingly turning to new markets and products to reduce detrimental factors in their operations. It is this focus that Britvic says has allowed them to stave off detrimental affects of the last few months' weather being felt by other manufacturers in the sector. However, even without the CCSD acquisition, Britvic believes its drive for greater operational efficiency will continue a turnaround in its profitability during the remainder of the fiscal year. "Our continued focus on costs and promotional efficiency, combined with strong first half results, means that, excluding any contribution from CCSD, we remain confident that the result for the year will be within the range of current market expectations,"​ the company stated. The annoucnement could come as a further sign of encouragement for the British soft-drinks industry, after the group posted an improved first fiscal half year performance. Branded drinks sales grew nine per cent to £353.6m for the six-month period up to 15 April, Britvic​ said, while operating profit rose 30 per cent to £24m. To further boost its prospects, Britvic also announced, following the results in May, that it was to expand into Ireland after agreeing to buy the CCSD for £169.5m cash. The company will take on C&C's licences for Pepsi and 7UP brands as well as the country's number one bottled water brand, Ballygowan. It also plans to save £14m annually by integrating the business with its British operation.

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