Belfast Telegraph

Vimto makers warn over Brexit-hit pound despite Ramadan sales surge

The owners of Vimto have warned over a potential hit from the Brexit-hit pound despite enjoying a sales jump as Muslims bagged bottles of the soft drink ahead of Ramadan.

Nichols said Vimto had outstripped the UK market with a 3.4% rise in reported first-quarter sales, but cautioned that trading would remain challenging as sterling's slump pushes up manufacturing costs.

It said growth in Africa maintained momentum from last year and it was boosted by a "busy first quarter" thanks to a lift in Vimto concentrate sales throughout the Middle East in the run- up to Ramadan.

Vimto has become popular with Muslims - particularly in Saudi Arabia - who have taken to drinking the sugary fruit drink before fasting through the month of Ramadan.

John Nichols, non-executive chairman, said: "We anticipate the UK soft drinks market will remain challenging throughout 2017 with the addition of currency related input cost inflation to an already price competitive environment.

"Against that backdrop, we are pleased with the group's trading performance for the first quarter and currently expect full year earnings to be in line with market expectations."

Nichols, which sells in more than 85 countries, owns brands such as Levi Roots soft drinks, Feel Good and Sunkist.