Britvic has reported a 3.4% increase in group sales for the third quarter of this year, despite challenges with CO₂ supply, but the impact of the Soft Drinks Industry Levy (SDIL) has been difficult to gauge since its introduction in April given the unusually warm summer, the soft drinks producer said.
GB revenue increased 8.0% (+1.9% excluding the SDIL) during the three months ending 8 July, with GB carbonates revenue increasing 6.1% (-2.9% ex-SDIL). The Pepsi brand continued to gain market share led by the zero sugar MAX variant, Britvic said.
Disruption to the supply of carbon dioxide in the UK and Ireland forced Britvic to temporarily scale back its promotional activity during the quarter and re-allocate some of its secondary feature space to still drinks. As a result, GB stills revenue growth was particularly strong for the third quarter (+11.9%, +11.7% ex-SDIL), led by brands including Robinsons and J20.
Since the introduction of the SDIL in April, the soft drinks category has benefited from a prolonged period of unusually warm weather which Britvic said made it difficult to access the effects of the levy until later this year.
Commenting on the results, Britvic ceo Simon Litherland said: “Britvic has delivered a strong underlying performance in the third quarter, through continuing outstanding execution of no sugar carbonates and substantial growth from our stills brands.
“Whilst the industry-wide shortage of carbon dioxide held back our ability to fully capitalise on the exceptional weather in GB and Ireland, we leveraged the breadth and strength of our portfolio to moderate the impact. Consequently, we remain confident of achieving market expectations for the full year.”
CO₂ supply has now returned to normal for Britvic and the company said it was monitoring stock levels and gradually reintroducing promotions.