Vimto supplier Nichols has upgraded its full year growth expectations for the 2021 calendar year after a stronger than forecast rebound in sales following the ending of Covid restrictions.

In the nine months to 30 September group revenue was up 17% year-on-year to £107m, which was “ahead of the board’s expectations”.

Its core Vimto brand has “continued to deliver a strong performance across all of its markets”.

In the UK, Vimto brand value has increased by 4.5% year to date, according to Nielsen. In Africa, the Middle East, Europe and the US the soft drink brand grew international revenues by 36% year-on-year.

The group’s out of home route to market continues to recover from the impact of the pandemic and has seen growth of 29% year on year.

It said that, although uncertainty remains regarding Q4 trading as a result of increasing Covid-19 infection rates in the UK, it now believes that adjusted profit before tax for the full year will be ahead of current market expectations in light of the strong trading in the year to date.

It now anticipates that adjusted PBT for 2021 will be in the range of £21m-£22m, ahead of current market consensus of £19.1m.

However, while the group’s revenue momentum is expected to continue into 2022, it cautioned that the outlook for the next financial year is adversely impacted by inflationary pressures including logistics, labour and materials.

Therefore profit expectations for 20224 remain unchanged.

Nichols intends to provide its next trading update on 12 January 2022.

Nichols shares have opened up 7.1% to 1,205.2p.

Morning update

On the markets this morning, the FTSE 100 has opened up 0.4% to 7,308.9pts.

Along with Nichols, risers include THG, up 6.5% to 208.9p, McColl’s Retail Group, up 5.4% to 20p and Hotel Chocolat, up 3.7% to 529p.

Fallers include Marston’s, down 1.2% to 78.3p, Compass Group, down 1.2% to 1,534.2p and Tate & Lyle, down 0.9% to 675p.

Yesterday in the City

The FTSE 100 ended the day yesterday up 0.4% to 7,279.9pts.

Sainsbury’s fell 2.5% yesterday to 281.8p despite posted a strong rebound in first half profitability as investors focussed on the slowdown in second quarter growth and the drop in year-on-year general merchandise sales, particularly at Argos.

Other fallers yesterday included Bakkavor, down 8.6% to 117p, Parsley Box, down 8.3% to 49.5p, Hotel Chocolat, down 3% to 510p, McColl’s Retail Group, down 2.7% to 19p, PZ Cussons, down 1.9% to 207p and Greencore, down 1.1% to 132.3p.

The day’s risers included Glanbia, up 6.9% to €15.12, Tate & Lyle, up 4.9% to 681p, Greggs, up 2.9% to 3,156p, Coca-Cola HBC, up 2.7% to 2,583p, PayPoint, up 2.3% to 709p and B&M European Value Retail, up 2.2% to 623.2p.