Drinks group Britvic said it made a solid start to the year as revenue rose in the first quarter. However, it said plans to impose a levy on soft drinks in Ireland and the UK brought some uncertainty to the market.
Britvic said revenue for the three-month period was £337.2 million, up 3.3 per cent year-on-year. When the impact of the Bela Ischia acquisition in Brazil was excluded, revenue rose 0.7 per cent compared with the prior year.
Revenue rose 16.5 per cent in the Republic compared with a year earlier, lifted by the acquisition of East Coast in the second quarter last year. Britvic said owned-brand revenue also increased.
Revenue in its UK drinks market was 1 per cent higher, with carbonates revenue up 4.9 per cent on the strength of the Pepsi Max product. Stills revenue in the same market was 6.6 per cent lower, with volume down 4.4 per cent.
The company said the second quarter would see the launch of the premium Robinsons fruit creations and cordials ranges into the grocery sector. Britvic also absorbed a number of one-off costs arising from Palmer and Harvey’s administration.
In France, revenue fell 5 per cent in a "subdued"market, with a decline in syrups partly offset by growth in the Pressade juice brand.
The company said it was confident of further progress this year with a continued focus on revenue and cost management, and the delivery of the final phase of its business capability programme.