Vimto firm Nichols returns to profit; dividend raised

Merseyside-based Vimto and soft drinks firm Nichols plc said its 2022 adjusted profit before tax increased 14.5% to £25 million as revenue increased 14.3% to £164.9 million.

Reported profit before tax was £13.8 million compared to a loss of £17.7 million in 2021.

Proposed full year dividend of 27.7p represents a 19.9% increase year-on-year.

Other brands in the Nichols portfolio include SLUSH PUPPiE, Feel Good, Starslush, ICEE, Levi Roots and Sunkist.

Nichols chairman John Nichols said: “Vimto continues to perform well both in the UK and internationally and despite ongoing inflationary pressures, which accelerated during the second half, the brand has ensured a robust financial performance for the group.

“In the UK we have again seen the brand outperform in dilutes and continued to make significant progress in the ready to drink subcategory.

“Internationally, we continued to see solid growth across all regions. In particular, it was pleasing to see strong underlying growth in both the Middle East and Africa given the importance of these markets to the group.

The board currently expects FY23 Adjusted PBT to be in line with FY22 and market expectations, with International ahead and OoH (Out of Home) behind initial market forecasts.

“The board remains confident of significant progress in FY24 as inflationary pressures abate and the benefits of the Out of Home Strategic Review are realised.

“With a long-term track record of growth, a proven and diversified strategy in the UK and internationally, a quality range of brands and a strong balance sheet, the board remains highly confident that the group is very well positioned to deliver its long-term growth plans.”

Nichols said FY23 market expectations “refers to a group compiled consensus of adjusted PBT of £25.1m.”