Counterpoint, Britvic’s licensed wholesale business, also performed well this year, increasing Britvic’s share of the out-of-home market.
During the year Britvic Ireland leveraged its position as the number one player in the “no added sugar” category and now has over 30% of the market, thus outperforming the market with 60% of Britvic Ireland’s sales now in the low- and no-sugar segment.
Ballygowan water continued to significantly outperform the market, contributing more growth to the Irish soft drinks market than any other brand stated the company which extended the brand through the launch of Ballygowan Sparklingly Fruity – a fruit-infused sparkling mineral water.
To further increase its reach into the licensed trade channel Britvic has announced the acquisition (subject to competition approval) of Dundalk-based East Coast Suppliers, a licensed wholesaler with a strong presence along the east coast and particularly in Dublin where it services over 1,000 pubs, bars and restaurants.
The acquisition will be merged with Counterpoint to make Counterpoint the second-largest wholesaler in the Irish market.
Parent company Britvic plc announced revenues up 10.1% to £1,431.3 million although like-for-like revenue was up just 0.4%.
According to Britvic Chief Executive Simon Litherland 2017 will be another challenging year, with difficult trading conditions and input cost inflation for the first time in several years. The UK’s vote to leave the EU and the proposed soft drinks levies in GB and Ireland from April 2018 have created additional uncertainty.