Flat sales for Vimto owner in ‘challenging’ market

X The Business Desk

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NICHOLS, the  company behind the Vimto drink says sales in the UK have lost their fizz in a “challenging” soft drinks market.

In a trading update for 2015, chairman John Nichols said full year revenues will be flat at just over £109m, in line with 2014 and with expectations.

While the domestic market has been tough, the appetite for Vimto and other Nichols brands, has been good.

Mr Nichols said: “While the UK soft drinks market has remained challenging, the group has a strong international business where sales grew by 1.5% compared to 2014 and 3.9% on a constant currency basis.

“Reported export sales in the year totalled £24.4m, an increase of £0.4m. This was despite the difficulties in shipping to Yemen, due to the ongoing conflict in the region.”

The AIM company, founded in Manchester in 1908 and now based in Newton-le-Willows, said total UK sales were £84.9m, a marginal decline of 0.3% compared to 2014 although slightly ahead of the total UK soft drinks market performance which declined by 0.7%.

Mr Nichols added: “In summary, group 2015 sales performance is per our expectations and whilst the UK market remains challenging, our international business has continued to deliver good growth.  We expect full year profit and earnings per share to be ahead of the prior year and in line with market expectations.”

Full year results will be announced on March 2.