Refresco Sees Irregular Demand Due To COVID-19 In Q1
Soft drink bottler Refresco has said in a trading update that demand across its customer base has been irregular in the first quarter of its financial year due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
In March, the company saw strong growth in volumes in North America and Europe, partly driven by stockpiling of goods.
However, this resulted in ‘very soft’ order volumes for April and May, the company said.
Impact Of Pandemic
The company feels that it is too early to gauge the impact of the pandemic on its business even though an increased uncertainty persists in terms of requirements from its customers.
It also warned of operational challenges in some of its facilities due to a shortage of workers.
Nearly two-thirds of Refresco’s customer base comprises private-label brands, while contract manufacturing constitutes one-third of its business.
UK Plant Closure
The company is considering the permanent closure of its production facility at Wrexham in the United Kingdom, and plans to enter into consultation with its employees.
The decision follows a long term decrease in demand for small-format beverages for the out-of-home market produced in this facility.
This decline in demand has been compounded by COVID-19, Refresco added.
The company is scheduled to publish its first quarter results on 14 May 2020.