• Full-year net sales fall by 2.6%% to GBP1.26bn (US$2.04bn)      
  • Q4 net sales decrease by 4.9%
  • Carbonated sales in UK up by 3.1%  
  • Ireland group sales down by 9.6%
Britvic released a full-year trading update today

Britvic released a full-year trading update today

Britvic has posted a dip in sales as the Fruit Shoot product recall in the UK bit into its full-year results.

Net sales for the 12 months to the end of September fell by 2.6%% to GBP1.26bn (US$2.04bn), the Robinsons producer said in a trading update today (18 October). Britvic blamed the slide on July's recall of the Fruit Shoot still juice brand in the UK, which has been estimated to cost as much as GBP25m.

The results stood in contrast to last year, when sales jumped by 14.6% on the back of strong pricing and international growth.

Instead, Q4 still juice volumes were down by 14% and sales by 14.1% because of the recall, which mainly affected the UK, but also hit Belgium and the Netherlands. International Q4 sales declined by 13.6%, compared to 0.7% for the year.

Ireland, which was also touched by the recall, took further hits from underperforming licensed brands and a weak consumer economy, resulting in a 9.6% drop in group sales over the year.

Britvic CEO Paul Moody said he was pleased with the performance despite the problem recall.

“Our carbonates brands in Great Britain have performed particularly well against the backdrop of the largest UK sporting event in a generation," he said, "demonstrating once again the quality of our consumer promotional programmes and the strength of our in-market execution.

"Encouraging progress on Robinsons during the second half of the year has been overshadowed by the Fruit Shoot recall that materially impacted our overall full year outturn, and stills in particular.”

There was better news in France, which saw full-year sales increase by 8% due to strong pricing, Britvic said. The company added that moves in the US towards a concentrate in-market manufacturing model have made “further good progress”.

Britvic also confirmed that talks over a possible merger with UK rival AG Barr are still on-going without giving further details.

To read the company's official statement, click here.