Strategy shift helps Nichols achieve double-digit growth

Soft drinks group Nichols, the business behind Vimto and Levi Roots drinks, has reported a 10 per cent hike in its pre-tax profit for the year ended 31 December.

The company, which also sells Sunkist and Panda, credited some of the growth to a strategy shift that saw a reduction in its promotional activities around carbonated drinks, with operating margins increasing from 19 to 20 per cent.

Nichols grew its share in the still category with sales of Vimto cordial jumping 11 per cent.

Total UK sales were up two per cent to £86.8m, driven by good weather and the launch of a new Levi Roots coconut and lime variant and the addition of energy drink brand Extreme.

John Nichols, non-executive chairman, said he expected the UK retail market to remain challenging but is confident Nichols can maintain its performance.

“We will continue to invest in our brands and grow distribution in both our UK and international markets. January saw the launch of the ‘Vimto Squeezy’ product which takes the brand into the new ‘water enhancer’ category and in April consumers will see the new Vimto TV campaign," he said.

Sales dropped in Nichols' carbonated sector by six per cent.

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