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Vimto Maker Nichols Sees 'Strong' Top-Line Growth In First Half

By Dayeeta Das
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Vimto Maker Nichols Sees 'Strong' Top-Line Growth In First Half

Soft drinks maker Nichols has posted a 6.6% growth in group revenue to £85.5 million (€99.7 million) in the first half of its financial year.

However, Nichols saw a slight decline in gross margin to 41.1% from 42.8% in the same period last year.

The company's absolute gross margin increased by £0.8 million as the company recovered cost-of-goods inflation through pricing and other actions.

Divisional Performance

Revenue increased by 10.4% year-on-year, to £64.5 million (€75.2 million), through its packaged route to market, with the international unit seeing 24.6% growth to £21.5 million (€25.1 million).

Andrew Milne, chief executive officer commented, "We are pleased with our encouraging first-half performance which again reflects the strength of the Vimto brand.

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"Particularly pleasing is the growth in our core packaged business, and the continued accelerated momentum across our international markets with very strong performances in Africa, the Middle East, and the rest of the world."

In the Middle East, Nichols reported revenue growth of 17.5% for the segment, while continued momentum in Africa led to 26.1% growth and the rest of the world saw a 29.8% increase.

In the UK, the packaged segment generated revenue worth £43.1 million (€50.2 million), registering growth of 4.5%, from £41.3 million (€48.1 million) in the same period last year.

In the out-of-home category, the Vimto maker saw a revenue decline of 3.5% to £21.0 million (€24.5 million), which was due to a planned reduction in activity post a strategic review of the out-of-home category.

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Outlook

According to Milne, the company will remain focused on accelerating growth in its packaged route to market, both in the UK and internationally.

"We are mindful that consumer spending is still under pressure from continuing high levels of inflation. However, the group's track record, strong brands, and diversified business model, alongside the resilience of the wider soft drinks market, support the board's confidence in the group's long-term growth prospects, and that the group's adjusted PBT [profit before tax] for FY 2023 will be in line with expectations," he added.

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