Nichols saw gains in its UK sales

Nichols saw gains in its UK sales

UK soft drinks maker Nichols has posted an increase in full-year sales for 2013, as gains in concentrate made up for declines in carbonate for its core Vimto brand.

In a trading statement today (10 January), Nichols said group sales in the 12 months of 2013 climbed by 2% to GBP109.9m (US$180m). Second-half sales were up by 4%, the company said.

In the UK, performance was similar as sales for the year increased by 2% to GBP86.8m, and rose by 5% for H2. Nichols said a reduction in promotional activity for Vimto carbonate saw sales of the sparkling variant fall by 6% for the year. However, Vimto concentrate sales were up by 11% over the same period.

The increase follows Nichols decision to focus on stills because of increased promotions pressure on carbonates from rivals in the UK, and higher costs. In May, chairman John Nichols warned that the new strategy could hurt FY sales. However, today's trading statement said the company's strong second half of the year means full-year profit and earnings per share are expected to be ahead of the prior year.

Nichols' international business posted continued growth in Africa, while a stronger second-half of 2013 in the Middle East delivered full-year sales of GBP23.1m, a 2% jump on full-year 2012.

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