Sales slump at MiWadi maker Britvic amid pandemic lockdown

‘Too early’ to judge full impact on business, drinks group says

Photograph: Cyril Byrne

Photograph: Cyril Byrne

 

Drinks group Britvic said revenue in its third quarter fell 16.3 per cent as the measures to slow the spread of Covid-19 took hold.

The MiWadi and Ballygowan owner said sales would be £328.9 million (€362.5 million) for the three-month period, while its revenue in the year to date was 5 per cent down on the same period last year, to £1.03 billion.

Britvic said significant declines in its out-of-home market were partly offset by strong growth in at-home consumption, which helped boost its market value share.

The company, which also distributes brands including 7Up and Lipton Ice Tea in Ireland and Britain had previously estimated the financial cost of Covid-19 at between £12 million to £18 million a month. Although restrictions have now eased, the company said it was still too early to judge the impact on the business.

Chief executive Simon Litherland said the quarter demonstrated the full market impact of the coronavirus pandemic lockdowns. “We have continued to focus on the clear priorities we set to navigate through the pandemic, which have helped us to manage our business effectively and to deliver a third-quarter performance in line with our expectations,” he said, noting gains in market share and performance across Britvic’s channels.

“However in the near term there remains a high degree of uncertainty about the pace and level of full recovery.

“Looking further ahead, I am confident that the strong momentum we built up going into the pandemic will return, and that our long-term strategy will continue to create value for all our stakeholders.”