The UK soft drinks industry has proved itself more resilient to recession than other beverage sectors in 2009, according to Paul Moody, president of the British Soft Drinks Association.

Speaking at the annual BSDA lunch in London today (9 June), Moody said: "The soft drinks industry is in a strong position.

"We are performing better than most other beverage sectors," he added.

Moody, who is also CEO of Britvic, the UK's leading soft drinks group, said that soft drinks have benefited from their image as a product for "everyday enjoyment".

Industry delegates at the lunch said that they are now hoping for good summer to boost sales, despite rising unemployment and ongoing economic recession in the UK. 

Moody's comments came in the same week that AG Barr, maker of Irn-Bru and the country's second largest soft drinks firm, reported that like-for-like sales were up by 8% in the the first four months of its fiscal year, to the end of May.

Britvic, which owns the licence to PepsiCo drinks in the UK and Ireland, as well as the Robinsons squash brand, said last month that net sales for the 28 weeks to 13 April rose by around 6% to reach GBP483.2m (US$756.6m).