Vimto firm Nichols sees Q1 revenue fall 6% to £39m

Merseyside-based Vimto and soft drinks firm Nichols plc published a trading update for the three months to March 31, 2024, to coincide with the company’s AGM, showing group revenue decreased 5.9% year-on-year to £38.8 million.

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

“Trading in 2024 has started in line with management expectations reflecting the group’s continued strategic progress,” said Nichols.

“Strong growth in the UK packaged business was offset by an anticipated decline in international revenue due to the phasing of shipments and strong prior year comparatives as well as the continued successful rationalisation and focus on profitability in the Out of Home (OoH) business.

“As a result, group revenue decreased 5.9% year-on-year to £38.8m.

“UK packaged revenues increased by 6.8% to £20.4m, driven by an underlying volume increase of 4.4% over the period.

“The Vimto brand continued to grow in value largely reflecting new product innovation and increased distribution.

“International packaged revenues decreased by 23.0% to £9.8m, reflecting the timing of shipments into the Middle East and reduced volumes in Africa, which benefited from one-off launch volumes into Ivory Coast during the same period last year.

“We continue to expect the international business to deliver profitable growth across the full year.

“In-line with our strategic plan, OoH revenues declined by 6.2% to £8.6m, reflecting the withdrawal from unprofitable accounts in the second half of FY23. 

“The OoH business continues to show improved profitability as the benefits of the strategic review are realised.

“Cash and cash equivalents at the end of the period were £73.0m (31 December 2023: £67.0m).”

In its outlook, Nichols said: “The board remains confident that the group, underpinned by the strength of the Vimto brand and the group’s diversified international business model, is well placed to deliver profitable growth in the coming year and achieve its long-term strategic ambitions.

“The group’s adjusted PBT expectations for FY24 remain unchanged …”

 FY24 expectations refers to a Group compiled market consensus of adjusted PBT £28.8m