Britvic's total revenue up 20% to £288.2M in fiscal Q1; excluding firm's French business, acquired last May, revenue fell 0.2% to £239.6M; adverse weather weighed on revenues in the U.K., Ireland pub, club channel

CHELMSFORD, England , January 27, 2011 (press release) – At the Annual General Meeting to be held at 11.00am this morning, Gerald Corbett, Chairman, will make the following comment on the Company's year-on-year trading for the quarterly period as defined in the notes below.

Revenue Performance Q1 2011
(£m)
% Change Against
Prior Year
(constant currency)
Total Group
Group Excluding France (LFL)
288.2
239.6
20.0
(0.2)
GB
               Carbonates
                         Stills
Total GB

114.2
77.5
191.7

4.5
(4.2)
0.8
Britvic International
Total GB and International
5.8
197.5
41.5
1.6
Britvic Ireland 42.1 (8.4)
Britvic France 48.6 -
Great Britain

In a period where adverse weather affected trading, particularly in the Pub & Club channel, GB grew revenues by 0.8% against a challenging comparative performance of 15.4% revenue growth.

GB take-home market volumes grew by 3.4%, broken down into carbonates category volumes up by 5.8% and stills category volumes up by 0.8%. Britvic’s take-home share was flat in the period, although the Company posted a further 2.0% volume-share gain in the GB Impulse market.

GB Carbonates posted another strong revenue performance, led by the successful 2010 launches of both the new 600ml PET range and Mountain Dew Energy. Our GB Carbonates performance was, in part, impacted by increased promotional activity from the competitor set, which contributed to a Britvic GB Carbonates volume decline of 0.2%. However, our maintained focus on value over volume, as well as further on-the-go distribution gains, meant that ARP grew by 4.6%.

The continuing pressures on our single-serve GB Stills portfolio within the challenged Pub & Club channel were exacerbated in the quarter by the weather conditions, leading to a Britvic GB Stills volume decline of 3.5%. The resulting impact on both our product and channel mix of sales led to a 0.7% fall in the GB Stills ARP.

International

Britvic's international business delivered exceptional revenue growth of 41.5% with ARP growth flattered by the inclusion of a first-time revenue contribution from Fruit Shoot franchise revenues. Underlying ex-franchise volumes were up by 16.9% as our travel, Nordic and Netherlands operations continued to perform strongly. The extended Fruit Shoot trials in the U.S. are delivering positive results, and early signs from the late-2010 launch of the Fruit Shoot brand in Australia are encouraging, with extensive distribution across all major grocery retailers and a rapidly growing presence in Convenience & Impulse.

Ireland

The Irish soft drinks market demonstrated an element of relative improvement in the quarter, with Republic of Ireland (ROI) market grocery volumes and value up by 2.8% and 0.7% respectively. The rate of decline in the ROI Pub & Club channel slowed in the quarter, with a 7% fall in both volume and value. In line with our expectations, Britvic Ireland volumes declined by 9.9%, although ARP grew by 1.1% as we lapped a period of intense Britvic promotional activity. In the quarter, management continued to focus on delivering the more appropriate go-to-market model highlighted during the 2010 preliminary results announcement. Savings from the structural changes will underpin Britvic Ireland’s profitability in 2011, and details on this new structure will be presented at our investor seminar in March.

France

Britvic France, acquired in May 2010, delivered comparative quarterly revenue growth in excess of 5%, in line with our expectations. Our continued strong performance was driven by volume growth, with ARP impacted by product mix and promotional activity. The French take-home market delivered a robust volume increase of 3.2% in the period. The integration of the French business into the wider group successfully continues as planned, and we look forward to the imminent launch of Teisseire Fruit Shoot and other exciting innovation across the French market.

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