Belfast Telegraph

Britvic is hit by Fruit Shoot recall

By Neil Maidment

Uk soft drinks maker Britvic said production of its Fruit Shoot children's drink would be back to normal by January after a recall due to faulty caps, along with a cool summer, hit annual profits.

The maker of Tango and Robinsons drinks, which this month agreed terms on a £1.4bn merger with AG Barr, said underlying pre-tax profit fell 19% to £84.4m in the year to September 30.

Britvic, which also makes and sells PepsiCo brands in Britain and Ireland, said a strong performance in its British carbonated drinks business and market share gains had been undone by the recall, which cost £16.9m in the year to September, and will cost up to £8m this financial year, it said.

The Fruit Shoot hit pushed group revenue down 0.8% to £1.26bn at constant exchange rates, impacting its British still drinks, international and French businesses, while its Irish operation continued to slump under tough economic conditions.

Analysts at Panmure Gordon said the results were ahead of their expectations for a pre-tax profit of £79.5m.

"We forecast that Britvic as a standalone business should be able to deliver a strong increase in profitability once it has worked through the issues caused by the Fruit Shoot recall. Specifically, we forecast 27% adjusted pre-tax profit growth to £101.4m."

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