Positive start to the year with continued outperformance of the Vimto brand offset by expected declines in Out of Home revenues as a result of UK lockdown.

Press release date: 28th April 2021

Nichols plc, the diversified soft drinks Group, provides the following trading update for the 3 months to 31 March 2021 (“the period”), to coincide with the Company’s Annual General Meeting taking place later today.

Strong growth achieved by the Vimto brand in the UK and a solid start to the year for the Group’s International business have largely offset significant declines in the UK Out of Home (“OoH”) route to market. As a result, total Group revenue in the period decreased by only 5.9% to £30.7m against the prior year, despite the impact of the UK lockdown.

The Vimto brand has continued to outperform the wider UK soft drinks market, achieving growth of 4.9%1 in value terms in the year to date (“YTD”), versus 3.2%1 value growth across the wider UK soft drinks market. Across the Group’s International markets, the strong momentum reported in the prior year has continued.

Trading since the year end has remained very challenging in the Group’s OoH route to market. Revenues in OoH were 91.9% lower in the period than those seen in the same period of 2020, as most of the Group’s customers’ outlets remained closed.

Despite the financial challenges posed by the ongoing pandemic, cash and cash equivalents at the end of the period remained strong at £43.1m (31 December 2020: £47.3m).

2021 Outlook

The Board is confident that the Group, underpinned by the strength of the Vimto brand and the Group’s diversified business model, remains well placed to deliver its long-term strategic ambitions.

Should the UK Government’s planned roadmap out of lockdown continue, and assuming the absence of further lockdowns later in the year, the Board expects full year adjusted profit before tax2 (PBT) to be broadly in line with current market expectations3.

1 Nielsen Total Coverage Year to Date 27.03.2021
2 Excluding Exceptional items
3 Current market expectations refer to a Group compiled consensus for FY21 of adjusted PBT £18.9m (FY20 Actual £11.6m)