The Vimto maker said 2009 was an exceptionally good year

The Vimto maker said 2009 was an exceptionally good year

Soft drinks producer Nichols said its sales in the first part of 2010 are “significantly” up on last year, well ahead of expectations.

Speaking at the firm’s AGM later today (20 May), non-executive chairman John Nichols is expected to say that an "exceptional" in 2009 should continue into this year.

“The momentum generated has continued into the first part of 2010,” Nichols said in an update. “Sales in the new financial year, despite strong comparatives, are well ahead of last year and our own internal expectations. In the UK, turnover is significantly up and we have out-performed the market as a whole – continuing to improve our market share.”

The firm launched a Vimto Cherry variant in January, which Nichols said has started the year strongly.

“We expect a similar trading pattern to last year - with our first half year sales benefiting from the slightly earlier timing of Ramadan in 2010 over 2009,” Nichols said.

Earlier this year, the firm relaunched Sunkist in the UK with a new logo, a packaging redesign and the introduction of new flavours.

“With the key summer trading period still ahead, we are extremely pleased with the group’s performance so far and the board is confident of delivering another strong year,” he added.

In March, Nichols recorded a jump in 2009 sales and profits boosted by Vimto sales in the UK,