Nichols Achieves 13.2% Revenue Growth in 2017

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Nichols Achieves 13.2% Revenue Growth in 2017

Nichols Achieves 13.2% Revenue Growth in 2017
March 05
09:34 2018

Nichols, the UK-based soft drinks group, revenue for 2017 has increased by 13.2% to £132.8m (12.2% on a constant exchange rate basis) for the year ended 31 December 2017. This growth was delivered across the group in both its UK and international businesses highlighting the advantages of a diversified business model. However, group profit before tax and exceptional items of £30.5 million was broadly in line with the prior year figure of £30.4 million.

Nichols has sales in over 85 countries, selling products in both the still and carbonate categories. The group is home to the iconic Vimto brand which is popular in the UK and around the world, particularly in the Middle East and Africa. Other brands in its portfolio include Feel Good, Starslush, ICEE, Levi Roots and Sunkist.

John Nichols, non-executive chairman of Nichols.

UK sales totalled £100.8 million in 2017 – an increase of 11.0%, which is a strong performance given ongoing challenges in the UK market. Once again, the Vimto brand has significantly outperformed the market with sales in 2017 up by 9.0% compared to the overall UK soft drinks market which was up by 2.2% in the same period (Nielsen year to 30 December 2017). Elsewhere in the UK, Nichols’ Out of Home business increased its sales by 21.5% compared to the prior year. This was delivered from both its dispensed soft drinks and frozen beverages product ranges and demonstrates the benefits of recent acquisitions in this part of the business.

Sales to international customers grew by 20.4% to £32.0 million. Revenues to Africa were £12.7 million, an increase of 21.2% compared to 2016.

Whilst the Group remains highly profitable with group profit before tax and exceptional items delivering a 23% return on sales, against 26% in 2016, the margin has been impacted by increased input costs affecting the wider industry. In addition to the margin dilution, the escalation in hostilities in Yemen prevented the planned shipments of Vimto concentrate in December.

John Nichols, non-executive chairman of Nichols, comments: “In 2017 we delivered strong double-digit sales growth across both the UK and international businesses, even though the market conditions have been challenging. Profits were maintained despite previously announced external challenges in the Yemen region and we are proposing to increase the final dividend by 15.3%. The group expects to deliver further progress in 2018, supported by the advantages of our diversified business model and the strength of our brands.”

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