Soft drinks manufacturer Nichols, headquartered in Newton-Le-Willows, has posted continued sales and profit growth in its half-year results yesterday as it announced the acquisition of dispensed soft drink distributor DJ Drink Solutions.
Nichols chairman John Nichol said today: “Nichols has delivered another strong performance in the first half of the year. Our sales momentum, which continues to outperform the UK market coupled with successful management of input costs has delivered solid profit growth.”
Looking ahead, Nichol said “Whilst we anticipate that market conditions will remain challenging during the second half of the year, we have a clear strategy and, underpinned by the strength of our brands and our diversified business model, we are confident of delivering full year results in line with expectations.”
Nichols also announced the acquisition of northern England drinks distributor DJ Drink Solutions for an undisclosed fee. The company said the purchase was completed on 2 June and consolidates its route to market the UK’s north-west and north-east regions. DJ Solutions is based in Newcastle and is Nichols’ largest out-of-home dispensed soft drinks distributors in the two regions.
Meanwhile, Nichols has appointed Helen Keays to its board following John Longworth’s departure at the company’s AGM in April. Keays is a senior independent director at Domino’s Pizza Group and a non-executive director and chair of remuneration at marketing services group Communisis.
In its results for the first half of the year, Nichols saw year-on-year revenues increase by 12.4 per cent to £63.5m while profits jumped 7.1 per cent to £12.7m.
The firm, which also owns the Levi Roots and Sunkist brands, said sales of Vimto in the UK grew 10 per cent year-on-year over the period, vastly outperforming the 2.9 per cent growth recorded by the total soft drinks market.
The drink has also proved a hit in the Middle East, with sales in the region up 19.8 per cent year-on-year, while sales in Africa jumped by 30.9 per cent, helping total international revenues increase 33.5 per cent to £16m.
The strong performance led the firm to increase its dividend by 12.2 per cent to 10.1p per share.