AGM Trading Update and Board Changes
Press release date: 26th April 2023
Nichols plc, the diversified soft drinks Group, provides the following trading update for the three months to 31 March 2023 (“the period”), to coincide with the Company’s Annual General Meeting (“AGM”) taking place later today.
Group revenue for the period increased by 4.2% year-on-year to £41.2m.
This positive performance reflected good progress in the Group’s Packaged1 business, which saw revenues increase by 7.7% to £32.0m. This was principally driven by an accelerated performance in the International Packaged route to market, where revenue grew by 20.1% as strong momentum in Africa continued from FY22. Within the UK Packaged route to market, the Group saw revenue marginally ahead of the prior year as the business continued to progress its value over volume strategy.
As expected, the Group’s Out of Home (“OoH”) business has seen a slower start to 2023 than in the prior year, with revenues down 7.8% to £9.2m, as continued significant cost of living pressures are being experienced.
Cash and cash equivalents at the end of the period remained strong at £55.7m (31 December 2022: £56.3m).
The Group continues to take actions to mitigate the expected significant inflationary pressure in line with forecasts. The Group’s Adjusted PBT2 expectations for FY233 remain unchanged and the Board remains confident in its long-term strategic growth plans.
As previously announced on 11 January 2023, Elizabeth (Liz) McMeikan has been appointed as the Group’s next Non-Executive Chair following the retirement of John Nichols after 15 years as Non-Executive Chairman. Liz joined the Group as a Non-Executive Director on 1 February 2023 and will become Non-Executive Chair following the conclusion of the AGM later today, subject to her re-appointment by shareholders as a Director.
The Group confirms that John Nichols will remain on the Board as a Non-Executive Director. John will take the second of the two Nichols family Board positions, sitting alongside fellow Non-Executive Director James Nichols, agreed as part of the Relationship Agreement signed in July 2020.
Resignation of Director
The Group also announces that David Rattigan, the Company’s Chief Financial Officer, has resigned from the Board and will leave the Group at the end of April 2023.
The Board has now commenced a search for a new CFO and shareholders will be updated in due course. Gary Eden, Group Financial Controller, who has been with the Group for two and a half years will assume the responsibilities of the finance function and will report to the Board with the assistance of John Gittins, Independent NED and Chair of the Audit Committee.
John Nichols, Chairman, said “On behalf of the Board, I would like to thank David for his contribution over the past three years. During this time we have made important strategic progress whilst having to navigate significant market headwinds and David has been instrumental in enabling the Company to achieve that. We wish him all the best for the future.”
1Refers to the Group’s International Packaged and UK Packaged routes to market. As announced in the Group’s 2022 Annual Report and Accounts, commencing 2023 the Board has changed the Group’s operating segments it reviews the results for and makes decisions on as chief operating decision maker. These segments will now be Packaged, Out of Home and Corporate.
2 Excluding exceptional items
3 FY23 expectations refers to a Group compiled market consensus of adjusted PBT £25.3m
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