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Satisfactory First Half Performance By Nichols

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Satisfactory First Half Performance By Nichols

Satisfactory First Half Performance By Nichols
July 27
09:24 2015

Nichols has reported a 9% increase in profit before tax to £10.9 million for the first half ended 30 June 2015, delivering a 200 basis points improvement to the margin as the UK-based soft drinks group continued to deliver on its value over volume strategy. Total group sales were flat at £54.7 million.

Nichols’ brand portfolio includes Vimto, which is sold in over 65 countries and Levi Roots, Sunkist and Panda which are sold in the UK. The group has a leading market position in both the still and carbonate drinks categories.

UK sales outperformed the market with a 2% increase in revenue in the first half of 2015 whilst the UK market has declined by 0.1%. Significantly, this performance was driven by the Vimto brand with sales increasing by 3.4% in the period compared to 2014. On a like for like basis, excluding the discontinued Weight Watchers and Extreme brands, Nichols’ UK sales increased by 2.8% in the period.

Export sales at the half year point are 5.8% behind the same period in 2014. This is due to delayed shipments to the Yemen as a consequence of the recent conflict in the country. Elsewhere, sales to Aujan Coca-Cola, Nichols’ main partner in the Middle East, are ahead of the prior year. Sales to Africa are comparable at the half year (4% ahead on a constant currency basis).

Nichols has also announced the acquisition of the Feel Good brand, an established range of premium juice drinks containing no added sugar and 100% natural ingredients. The brand is sold in the UK through the retail and on-trade channels, in addition there are export sales to mainland Europe. The move follows the earlier partial acquisition of The Noisy Drinks Company.

John Nichols, non-executive chairman of Nichols, says: “The board are pleased with the group’s performance in the first half of 2015, with UK sales growth outperforming the market and Group profit increasing by 9%. We look forward to the incremental contribution from both the Feel Good brand and the acquisition of The Noisy Drinks Company.”

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