Britvic reports robust results for Q3

Britvic, the group behind brands like Robinsons, Pepsi, Lipton, 7 UP, has today reported third quarter revenue of £366.9m, an increase of 3.4%, against a strong figure of 4.5% in the previous year.

Revenue, excluding the Soft Drinks Industry Levy (SDIL), decreased 0.6% over the third quarter. Year to date reported revenue increased 4.2% (2.8% ex-SDIL) to £1,100.1m.

GB revenue increased 8.0% (+1.9% ex-SDIL), with GB carbonates revenue increasing 6.1% (-2.9% ex-SDIL). Pepsi continued to gain share, led by outstanding execution of MAX.

There was a well- documented disruption to the supply of carbon dioxide into the UK and Ireland within the period, which impacted the wider food and drink industry, including carbonated soft drinks. To ensure continuity of supply across all trading channels, we temporarily scaled back our promotional activity and reallocated some of our secondary feature space to stills.

Supply has now normalised, enabling us to start rebuilding stock levels and gradually reintroduce promotions. GB Stills revenue growth was particularly strong, increasing 11.9% (+11.7% ex-SDIL). Underlying performance continued to improve, led by strong growth for both Robinsons and J20, and further enhanced by the additional display space referenced above.

Since the introduction of the SDIL in April, the soft drinks category has benefited from a prolonged period of unusually warm weather. This, when coupled with the carbon dioxide shortage, makes it difficult to disaggregate the effect of the Levy, and we anticipate having a more informed view of the impact at the end of the year. Early indications remain positive for the category and Britvic, with the shift from full sugar to low or no sugar products accelerating.

CEO Simon Litherland commented, “Britvic has delivered a strong underlying performance in the third quarter, through continuing outstanding execution of no sugar carbonates and substantial growth from our stills brands.

'Whilst the industry-wide shortage of carbon dioxide held back our ability to fully capitalise on the exceptional weather in GB and Ireland, we leveraged the breadth and strength of our portfolio to moderate the impact. Consequently, we remain confident of achieving market expectations for the full year.”

Ireland revenue increased 11.3% (+6.6% ex-SDIL), against both a strong comparative period last year and disruption from the carbon dioxide shortage. Our stills portfolio, including Ballygowan water, benefited from the exceptionally warm weather in the period.

France revenue declined 15.0%, reflecting both a very strong comparative last year and exceptionally poor weather in June this year. In the 4 weeks to 24 June, the adverse weather drove a total soft drinks market volume decline of over 14% and a syrups market volume decline of nearly 23%.

Brazil revenue increased 10.2%, against a soft comparative last year, and International revenue increased 8.7% in the quarter. In the USA, Fruit Shoot continued to make progress with increased distribution and additional listings secured.