Soft drinks on-sales down in value 9.5%

Sales of soft drinks through the Irish pub and club channel have been “severely impacted” with volume down 8.7 per cent and value down 9.5 per cent, according to Britvic in its preliminary report for the 12 months to the end of September this year, just published.

With Irish sales falling 9.1 per cent from €209 million in 2010 to €190 million to 30th September this year and volumes down by eight per cent to 229.1 million litres, Britvic blamed a weak economy and a poor Summer for falls in the volume and value of drink sales in Ireland. Across the Irish market, the volume of drinks sold in pubs fell by 8.7%, while take-home volumes were down 2.2%.

Total revenue for the Irish business dropped by almost 10% to £162.8 million. Britvic said, however, that it remained fully committed to its Irish business.

The economic challenges in Ireland combined with a poor Summer continued to impact the Irish soft drinks market which declined in volume and value despite a price increase, the first since Britvic acquired the division from C&C. In the second half Britvic saw clear benefits from the significant restructuring it has delivered in the Irish business and it continues to review the business and remains fully committed to the Irish business,  firmly believing that the strength of its portfolio will deliver growth when market recovery begins.

Unsurprisingly, given the difficult macro-economic background, Irish consumers continue to seek value and rein-in overall spending, stated the company’s report.

“The soft drinks market has continued to decline with take-home market volume down by 2.2 per cent although the value performance was slightly better but down 1.6 per cent," it stated.

“The economic challenges facing the Irish consumer are well-documented and continue to have a negative impact on the performance of Britvic Ireland. Both volume and revenue have come under pressure as the soft drinks market has declined further. Despite these challenges the business has stayed focused.”

The recent restructuring of Britvic Ireland also materially changed its go-to market model and enhanced its execution efficiency.

Its British, French and international divisions all recorded an increase in revenue, with total group revenue rising 15 per cent to just under £1.3 billion.

Britvic Ireland continues to face very challenging macro-economic conditions and combined with disappointing weather has led to the total soft drinks market continuing to decline. As measured by Nielsen, the take-home market performed better than pub and clubs but was nevertheless is in decline.

Overall, Britvic reported pre-tax profits of £105.1m for the 12 months, up 0.5 per cent from the previous year.

Overall, Britvic reported pre-tax profits of £105.1m for the 12 months, up 0.5 per cent from the previous year.

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