January 31, 2018 / 7:26 AM / 7 months ago

UK's Britvic first quarter revenue up 3.3 percent on demand for carbonated drinks

(Reuters) - British soft drinks company Britvic Plc (BVIC.L) said first-quarter sales rose 3.3 percent, helped by demand for its carbonated drinks in the UK, and said it was well-placed to tackle uncertainties stemming from from Britain’s impending sugar tax.

The maker of Robinsons squash and Tango said revenue in Britain rose 1 percent in the quarter, while carbonates revenue increased 4.9 percent on higher sales of drinks such as Pepsi MAX, the company said.

Soft drinks makers are rushing to reduce sugar in their products as the sugar tax, announced in 2016, is due to come into force in April this year.

The levy has two thresholds - manufacturers will have to pay 18 pence per litre on soft drinks with more than 5 grams of sugar per 100 ml and 24 pence per litre on those with more than 8 grams per 100 ml.

Among Britvic’s international markets, Brazil shone with sales rising 22.6 percent, helped by the acquisition of Bela Ischia in the second quarter last year.

Overall revenue rose to 337.2 million pounds in the first quarter.

The company, however, said it absorbed a number of one-off costs from Palmer and Harvey, one of its wholesalers that was placed in administration recently.

Britvic added that it did not anticipate any longer-term impact as customers are now being supplied by other wholesalers now.

Reporting by Rahul B in Bengaluru; Editing by Saumyadeb Chakrabarty

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