Britvic has reported its quarter one trading performance for the 12 weeks to 20 December 2015.
Reported revenue was £311.6 million, 4.8% ahead of last year. On an organic basis reported revenue declined 2.4% to £290.1 million.
Simon Litherland, Chief Executive, commented: “As anticipated, our first quarter performance reflected both the prevailing challenging trading conditions and a slow start in October. However trading over the entire Christmas period in our core markets was encouraging, with revenue ahead of last year, and in the quarter, we grew or held market value share in each of these markets.
“Following the completion of the EBBA acquisition on 30 September 2015, our first quarter performance in Brazil was in line with our expectations and our integration plans are progressing well. In the USA preparation for the launch of the Fruit Shoot multi-pack into the grocery channel is on track.
“With strong marketing and innovation plans for the year ahead, and an ongoing focus on cost control, we reaffirm our EBITA guidance range of £180 million to £190 million for 2016.”
GB revenue declined 1.2% with ARP flat on last year and volume slightly down reflecting the continued tough trading conditions in the grocery channel which affected both carbonates and stills portfolios. Overall the group continued to take value share led in particular by a strong performance by Pepsi Max.
Ireland revenue increased 1%, a strong performance by Counterpoint, the wholesale division, as it continued to expand the group’s presence in the on premise channel. This was partially offset by a weaker carbonates performance where competitor promotional activity in the grocery channel was particularly aggressive in the run up to Christmas. Stills revenue grew, led by Ballygowan water, which has a lower ARP than the business average.
France revenue declined 5.5%, with volume increasing 0.8% and ARP declining 6.2%. The revenue decline was primarily attributable to lower margin private label sales. The branded portfolio, led by the continued growth of Fruit Shoot, was ahead of last year.
Comparable International revenue declined 13.8%, due to a stock build in The Netherlands last year, ahead of the change in route to market and weaker trading conditions in Benelux.
In the USA only compound sales for single-serve have been recognised this quarter and shipments of these were ahead of last year.
Brazil, in the first quarter of ownership, generated revenue of £21.5 million, in the key summer trading period, in line with the business performance in the same period last year. As anticipated, market conditions in Brazil remained very tough. “Nevertheless we are encouraged by this performance and we continued to make good progress with both integration and developing our commercial plans for the year ahead,” said Literland.