However this represents a decline of 1.6% at constant exchange rates.
Volumes were also down 4.2% in the year in part due to Ballygowan’s water performance compared to an exceptionally warm Summer last year and changes this year to promotional pricing.
Pepsi and MiWadi recorded strong growth but were offset by a decline in 7Up and Club full sugar variants.
Counterpoint Ireland revenue, which includes the sale of third-party alcohol brands, declined compared to last year, reflecting a contraction in the on-trade channel.
“The 2019 performance of the Irish business is set against a particularly strong 2018, lapping one-time drivers namely the exceptionally strong Summer heatwave last year and buy-ins in advance of the sugar tax introduction,” said Kevin Donnelly, Managing Director of Britvic Ireland, commenting on the 2019 performance, “Despite the challenging comparator our soft drinks sales were on a par with last year but we saw a decline in our alcohol sales as the on-trade channel softened.
“We’ve been highly disciplined in our revenue management, focussing on value over volume and delivering a 3.9% increase in average realised price.
“Ballygowan finished the year with strong momentum and remains Ireland’s number one water brand,” he continued, “Britvic Ireland’s lack of scale in an accelerating Energy Drinks sector negatively impacted our overall share of the market. The energy drinks sector was the fastest growing market segment in Ireland in the period, up 17%.”
Britvic’s London Essence Company range of premium mixers and sodas is now listed in nearly 500 pubs and restaurants across Ireland.
Parent company Britvic plc saw revenues increase by 1.4% in the year to 29th September 2019 to £1.55 billion from £1.50 billion.
Pre-tax profits at the company were down 24% from £145.8 million in 2018 to £110.3 million in 2019 with Operating Profits similarly down by 20% to £130 million.
Britvic has also entered into a long-term agreement with Esterform Packaging for the supply of recycled PET which represents “an important milestone in the company’s sustainable business programme”.
Britvic is committed to pursuing a sustainable packaging strategy and critical to achieving this is the delivering of a step-change reduction in the use of virgin PET in its packaging and an increase in the levels of rPET.
Under the terms of the agreement Esterform will become Britvic’s preferred supplier of rPET in Great Britain and Ireland. Britvic will provide £5 million of investment support for the construction of new rPET manufacturing facilities at Esterform’s site in the UK.