Vimto firm Nichols ups revenue 29%; chairman retires

Merseyside-based Vimto and soft drinks firm Nichols plc said its first quarter revenue rose 28.9% year-on-year to £39.6 million — as it announced that chairman John Nichols will retire from the group once a suitable replacement is identified and appointed.

John Nichols has been with the group 50 years, including 15 years as non-executive chairman.

In a trading update for the three months to March 31, 2022, to coincide with the company’s AGM, Nichols said: “Group revenue for the period continued to demonstrate strong growth, increasing 28.9% year-on-year to £39.6m.

“The Vimto brand has outperformed the wider UK soft drinks market, achieving growth of 10.8% in value terms in the year to date (YTD), versus 9.8% value growth across the wider UK soft drinks market.

“The Group’s Out of Home (OoH) route to market continues to recover from the impact of the pandemic and has seen significant growth (+1,387%) year-on-year given the COVID restrictions through Q1 2021.

“The group’s international business had a slower start to 2022 than in the prior year (-16%) as shipment timings were severely impacted towards the end of the quarter by national driver industrial action in Spain due to rising fuel prices, which caused disruption to shipping timetables.

“The action has now ended and the group’s International shipments have resumed.

“Cash and cash equivalents at the end of the period were £48.3m, down from the end of the year (31 December 2021: £56.7m) following completion of the group’s treasury share buyback programme.”

In its outlook, Nichols said: “As expected, the group continues to experience significant inflationary pressure, but has plans in place to mitigate these in line with forecasts.

“The Group’s Adjusted PBT(profit before tax) expectations for FY22 therefore remain unchanged.”