Vimto sales boom in 2009

Vimto sales boom in 2009

Strong sales for the Vimto drink in the UK and abroad have helped Nichols to report a jump in sales and profits for 2009.

Net sales for the 12 month to the end of December rose by 29% GBP72.4m (US$109m), compared to GBP56.2m in 2008, said Nichols today (24 March).

Flagship brand Vimto helped Nichols to strongly outperform a UK soft drinks market that has risen by 2% in volume and value over the last year, said the group, which is the country's third largest soft drinks firm.

Vimto sales rose faster, by 33%, in overseas markets, driven by continued growth in the Middle East and also a launch for the brand in South Africa.

Nichols net profits for 2009 reached GBP8.3m, against GBP2.9m in a previous year hit by GBP4.3m in one-off charges. Underlying profits, before excpetional items, still rose - to GBP.8.5m from GBP7.3m.

Chairman John Nichols said: "Although the general economic outlook remains uncertain and the consumer market is still highly competitive, we are confident of delivering further growth this year."

The group has proposed a dividen of GBP0.12 per share for 2009, up 9% on 2008.