Strong revenue, profits growth as Britvic recovers from pandemic

Britvic growth in annual revenue and profits

Soft drinks major Britvic has reported strong growth in annual revenue and profits for its 2021 fiscal year marked by the Covid-19 pandemic.

The preliminary results announced today show 6.6 per cent increase in group revenue to £1.4 billion, adjusted for constant currency, and 10 per cent jump in Adjusted EBIT, which measures the underlying profitability, to £176.5 million for the year ended 30 September 2021.

This compares to the 8.6 per cent and 22.6 per cent decline respectively in the previous year, which included the first six months of pandemic restrictions.

“This year we have recovered strongly from the effects of the pandemic, with underlying revenue, margin, and profit all in growth. Our disciplined cash management enabled us to pay down debt and to increase our dividend by 12 per cent, reflecting our confidence in the business,” Simon Litherland, chief executive, commented.

The group has seen record free cash flow generation of £132.7m enabling a £31.9m reduction in adjusted net debt. As for the 2022 outlook, the group said it is confident in making further progress with revenue, profit and margin growth in 2022 despite inflationary cost pressures.

“While there are multiple operational headwinds leading to increased inflation, we are confident we will mitigate them through a combination of our agile and resilient supply chain, revenue management and cost saving actions,” Litherland said.

In Britain, the group has delivered growth across the portfolio, with Pepsi MAX, 7UP free and Tango enjoying an excellent year, growing revenue and retail sales value.

With the lifting of restrictions, brands such as J20 and Fruit Shoot have returned to growth and small pack formats across the portfolio and brands such as Lipton, Purdey’s and Aqua Libra, which are sold mostly in immediate consumption pack formats, benefited. Lipton has seen its revenue increase by 47 per cent in the second half of the year, the group noted.

Against a tough comparable, Robinson’s revenue declined in 2021, but encouragingly its retail value remains above pre-pandemic levels.

“Our portfolio of trusted family favourite brands has led the growth across our business units, and we continue to access new growth spaces through innovation, the acquisition of Plenish and the relaunch of Rockstar,” Litherland said.

“Our Healthier People, Healthier Planet sustainability programme has also progressed well, with the rollout of recycled PET in GB, and carbon reduction initiatives across the business.”