AGM Trading Update
Press release date: 27th April 2022
Nichols plc, the diversified soft drinks Group, provides the following trading update for the three months to 31 March 2022 (“the period”), to coincide with the Company’s Annual General Meeting taking place later today.
Group revenue for the period continued to demonstrate strong growth, increasing 28.9% year-on-year to £39.6m.
The Vimto brand has outperformed the wider UK soft drinks market, achieving growth of 10.8%1 in value terms in the year to date (“YTD”), versus 9.8%1 value growth across the wider UK soft drinks market. The Group’s Out of Home (“OoH”) route to market continues to recover from the impact of the pandemic and has seen significant growth (+1,387%) year-on-year given the COVID restrictions through Q1 2021.
The Group’s International business had a slower start to 2022 than in the prior year (-16%) as shipment timings were severely impacted towards the end of the quarter by national driver industrial action in Spain due to rising fuel prices, which caused disruption to shipping timetables. The action has now ended and the Group’s International shipments have resumed.
Cash and cash equivalents at the end of the period were £48.3m, down from the end of the year (31 December 2021: £56.7m) following completion of the Group’s treasury share buyback programme.
As expected, the Group continues to experience significant inflationary pressure, but has plans in place to mitigate these in line with forecasts. The Group’s Adjusted PBT2 expectations for FY223 therefore remain unchanged.
After over 50 years with the Group and 15 years as Non-Executive Chairman, John Nichols has informed the Board of his intention to retire from the Group once a suitable replacement is identified and appointed. The Board’s Nomination Committee has commenced a formal process to recruit his successor and will ensure in that process the Board retains the skills and experience necessary to support the ongoing delivery of the Group’s strategy.
An announcement will be made in due course.
1 Nielsen IQ Total Coverage YTD 26 March 2022
2 Excluding exceptional items
3 FY22 expectations refers to a Group compiled market consensus of adjusted PBT £25.2m
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