Vimto helps Nichols grow revenue 7.4% to £117m

Nichols CEO Marnie Millard

Merseyside-based soft drinks firm Nichols plc said Vimto sales helped its 2016 revenue rise 7.4% to £117.3 million and operating profit rise 9% to £30.3 million.

“There is no doubt that the heritage of the Vimto brand continues to resonate with our consumers across the globe,” said Nichols CEO Marnie Millard.

“We strive hard to ensure Vimto is as relevant today as it was back in 1908 when the brand was born.”

Millard said Nichols was well positioned for the effect of the new UK soft drinks levy due to be effective from April 2018.

“As a business with a diversified product portfolio and market presence, I believe the group is well positioned to both comply with and mitigate the effect of the levy,” said Millard.

Nichols’ share price has risen about 30% in the past year to give it a stock market value of more than £630 million, according to Bloomberg data.

Proposed full-year dividend will be 29.3p, an increase of 14.5% on the prior year.

Nichols’ other brands include Feel Good, Starslush, Levi Roots and Sunkist.

“Total sales in the UK were £90.7 million, 7% up on the prior year, which is particularly pleasing given the challenging trading environment,” said Nichols chairman John Nichols.

“The growth was driven by a strong performance from the Vimto brand and the successful integration of The Noisy Drinks Co. Limited following the full acquisition of the frozen drinks company in January 2016.

“Sales from the Vimto brand grew 4.7% in the year, significantly outperforming the UK soft drinks market where sales growth was 1%.”