Price rise drives Britvic to 49% surge in profits

Soft drinks group wary of consumer spending amid cost of living crisis

Soft drinks giant Britvic has seen half-year profits jump nearly 50 per cent as it hiked prices to offset inflation, but cautioned over falling consumer spending amid the cost-of-living crisis.

The group behind the Ballygowan brand, which also distributes MiWadi cordials, Club soft drinks and mixers as well as Pepsi, Robinsons and 7Up, reported pre-tax profits of £59.3 million (€70.2 million) for the six months to March 31st, up from £39.8 million a year earlier.

Revenues jumped 18.5 per cent to £719.3 million and the group said drinks bought for “immediate consumption” had now bounced back ahead of pre-pandemic levels, while trade overall across bars and restaurants recovered further.

The group said it increased prices at the start of the year amid efforts to offset soaring costs, but added that inflation was only partially mitigated in the first half.

Simon Litherland, chief executive of Britvic, said: "The current geo-political uncertainty is likely to result in continued cost inflation and pressure on consumer spending at least into 2023."

The group added that “while soft drinks are not immune to changes in consumer spending, both the category and Britvic’s leading family-favourite brands have historically shown themselves to be resilient” to wider economic turmoil. – PA