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UK: Lucozade sales lose fizz at GlaxoSmithKline

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Sales of energy and sports drink brand Lucozade slipped by 12% in the first quarter of 2009, owner GlaxoSmithKline has reported.

Lucozade sales fell by 12% to GBP80m (US$117m) for the three months to the end of March, said GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) this week. Its other soft drink brand, Ribena, saw sales slip by 5% to GBP38m for the quarter, compared to the same period last year.

The declines came as UK-based GSK, which has most of its business in pharmaceuticals, reported a net sales rise of 19%, to GBP6.77bn, for the first quarter. Restructuring charges dragged net profit for the quarter down to GBP1.17bn, compared to GBP1.33bn for the same period of 2008.

Lucozade sales were mainly damaged by "a reduction in 'impulse sector' demand in the UK", GSK said.

The brand's decline in the first quarter of 2009 comes despite a 12% rise in volume sales of energy and glucose-based drinks in the UK last year, according to the Britvic Soft Drinks Report 2009, which cites Nielsen data.

Earlier this month, GSK announced that it would launch 35 new sports nutrition products around its Lucozade brand, to be supported by a GBP18m marketing budget.

The firm also announce that it would discontinue its range of Ribena Pure Juices in the UK, a year after launch. GSK will instead focus on its mainstay Ribena squash brand, which will be boosted by a GBP5m marketing spend this year.


Sectors: Soft drinks

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