Nichols released a trading update today

Nichols released a trading update today

Nichols has warned that its sales will drop this year, as it shifts focus from carbonates to stills.

In a trading update released earlier today, (1 May), the UK soft drinks maker reported a double-digit sales increase in stills in the first four months of 2013 compared to a year prior. However, the company's ongoing withdrawal from carbonates will mean an overall sales decline by the end of the year, non-executive chairman John Nichols said.

“In the carbonate sector we have consciously reduced our participation in this heavily promoted sector, in line with our strategy of focusing on value generation,” Nichols said. “This will improve our overall operating margin and profitability.”

Nichols also said that sales to Africa are up so far this year, compared to the same period in 2012, while Middle East sales remained flat.

The company's AGM today saw the departure of CEO Brendan Hyne, who is leaving after ten years in the post. His replacement, Marnie Millard, was announced in March.