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Richard Bell

Vimto maker achieves sales growth despite “challenging” soft drinks market

Merseyside’s Nichols plc, the beverage company behind the Vimto brand of soft drinks, has announced a nine-figure revenue and export sales growth for 2015 despite a “challenging” market.

The Newton-le-Willows-based firm pulled in a revenue of £109.3m in the 12 months to December 31, a figure the company says is in line with both with 2014’s performance and management expectations.

Nichols also saw year-on-year sales growth of 1.5%, which rises to 3.9% when considered on a constant currency basis. Additionally, the 12-month period saw its export sales rise by £0.4m to hit £24.4m.

The company has claimed that export sales were, however, held back by difficulties experienced in shipping its products to Yemen, due to the country’s ongoing civil war.

While sales declined domestically by 0.3% to £84.9m, the performance remained ahead of the wider UK soft drinks market, which research firm Nielsen calculated to have dipped by 0.7%.

On a segmental basis, Nichols’ Still business grew by 4% as its Carbonate category declined by 7%.

The company is expecting its full year profit to be ahead of 2014.

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