Britvic has underperformed in GB stills but carbonates increased sales in the year-to-date

Britvic has underperformed in GB stills but carbonates increased sales in the year-to-date

Britvic has posted a drop in nine-month underlying sales as still soft drinks in the UK continued to underperform.

Stripping out the effect of Britvic's newly-integrated Brazil unit, sales in the nine months to 3 July fell by 1.3% to GBP960.4m (US$1.3bn). Volumes improved only marginally, up 0.6% in the period.

Still soft drinks in the UK, Britvic's biggest market, posted an 8.7% sales drop for the year-to-date as the segment's Q3 sales fell by 10.2%. Volumes for stills were down by 6.5% in the nine months. The declines follow a 6% drop in volumes and 8% fall in sales in H1.

Despite the underlying drop, Britvic CEO Simon Litherland remained optimistic as the company's acquisition in Brazil last year of soft drinks producer Empresa Brasileira de Bebidas e Alimentos (EBBA) pushed reported sales up by 5.3% to GBP1.02bn. Volumes including EBBA rose by 9.5% to GBP1.74bn.

GB carbonates, which account for more than half of Britvic sales, were also up, by 2.6% in sales and 3.1% in volumes.

"Our Q3 performance was stronger than the first half of the year despite tough trading conditions and the wet weather in June. We have strong programmes in place for our brands over the balance of the year and remain on track to deliver full year EBITA within the guidance range we set at the beginning of the year of GBP180m to GBP190m [compared to GBP171 in fiscal 2015]."

Britvic's share price dropped slightly as markets opened today but has since rebounded.

To read the company's official results release, click here.