Britvic said it continues to be "cautious about the challenging trading conditions"

Britvic said it continues to be "cautious about the challenging trading conditions"

Britvic has seen its third-quarter sales rise, driven by its M&A activity in France.

The UK-based soft drinks company said in an interim statement earlier today (21 July) that sales in the three months to 10 July increased by 12% year-on-year, coming in at GBP324.9m (US$524.3m). Britvic said the performance "reflected the benefit of the Britvic France acquisition in late Q3 2010".

Stripping out the purchase, however, saw sales in the three-month period dip by 2% due to weakness in Ireland. The Irish division recorded a sales decline of 15.3%, reflecting "tough macro-economic conditions" and poor weather.

The UK and Ireland combined struggled in the period, delivering their first quarter of volume decline in the last two years. UK volumes slipped by 1.9% though value grew by 3.2%, both representing "a marked slowdown against the second quarter".

"The actions we have taken to proactively manage ARP ( Average Realised Price) and margins against such challenging market conditions underpin the board's current confidence in meeting its expectations for the full year," said Britvic's chief executive, Paul Moody.

"However, we continue to be cautious about the challenging trading conditions and the impact of consumer sentiment in our largest markets as we move into the final quarter of the financial year."

Britvic is set to issue a FY trading update on 20 October, with the preliminary results announcement following on 30 November.

To view the official statement, click here.