Britvic profits helped by warm weather

Soft drinks group Britvic today reported an 18.4 per cent rise in annual profits, helped by this summer’s heatwave.

The maker of Fruit Shoot and Tango drinks, which pulled out of a planned merger with rival AG Barr earlier this year, posted an underlying pre-tax profit of £137.9 million for the year to 29 September, on revenues 4.4 per cent higher at £1.3 billion.

Chief executive Simon Litherland said: “Although market conditions remained difficult in each of our business units, we saw some notable successes across the business and benefitted from the warm weather, with an exceptionally hot July.”

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Litherland said Britvic remained on track to slash its costs by £30m a year by 2016.

He added: “While we anticipate that the consumer environment will remain challenging in 2014, trading in the new financial year is slightly ahead of a strong first quarter performance last year and we are confident of delivering earnings before interest and tax in the range of £148m to £156m for the full year.”

Britvic’s board proposed a final dividend of 13p a share to be paid on 7 February, an increase of 4.8 per cent on a year ago.