Fever-Tree new range 2016

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Fever-Tree (FEVR) has reported earnings growth of 82% on revenues up 71% after a stellar year for the premium drinks mixer brand.

Revenues for the full year to 31 December 2015 were up 71% to £59.3m after growth in all of Fever-Tree’s regions.

The group’s margins also improved, with adjusted EBITDA increasing to 82% to £18.2m on gross profit margin that rose to 52.1% from 50.9% last year.

Charles Rolls, executive deputy chairman of Fever-Tree said: ““Fever-Tree’s on-going success is driven by a global consumer desire and demand to drink premium mixers to complement their premium spirits, and our strong first mover advantage.

“We are increasingly well positioned to take advantage of the growth in both the On and Off-Trade in all geographies with the brand’s growing international reputation. We maintain that the premium segment is still in its infancy and will continue to outperform the other drinks categories as global cross-category premiumisation continues to gain prominence.”

In the UK Fever-Tree saw “exceptional” sales growth of 84% in 2015, partly driven by a “very strong” sales performance over the Christmas period. UK growth was consistent across both the on-trade and off-trade channels, with off-trade driven by strong growth at its principal retail customers of Waitrose, Tesco and Sainsbury’s.

US growth stood at 65% for the year, which represented 53% growth on a constant currency basis. Europe saw growth of 66% despite the weakening euro, which represented 82% constant currency growth. Rest of the world was up 50%, with key territories currently Canada, Australia and Columbia.

UK this year it now represents 35% of sales, with 65% of sales generated overseas.

In terms of outlook, Fever-Tree says it has made an “encouraging” start to 2016. “

“The outlook for the Group remains positive and believe that the continued implementation of our strategy will allow us to build on the success of 2015,” the group said.

Fever-Tree has lost 1% in early trading to 576.3p despite the strong results. The shares were trading as high as 702p in early February.

Morning update

Irish forecourt operator Applegreen (APGN) has issued its maiden annual results as a listed company after its €66.3m London IPO in June.

Applegreen saw “strong operating performance” with adjusted EBITDA up 26% to €28.9m and gross profits up 30% to €125.9m for the year to 31 December. Like for like growth in store and food gross profit of 8.9% (6.8% in constant currency), while overall revenues were up 15% to €1.1bn.

During the year the company grew its estate to 200 sites from 152 last year and continued to invest in the development of its network, with net capex of 58.8m last year. During the year it increased food outlets by 29 and launched two new food offers – Chopstix and Greggs. It currently has partnerships with Costa Coffee, Subway, Burger King and Greggs, as well as its own brands, aCafe and Bakewell.

Bob Etchingham, CEO of Applegreen said: “In reporting our first full year results as a public company we are very pleased to announce a strong performance in 2015 with growth in both profitability and turnover delivered across each of the Republic of Ireland and the UK. This performance was driven by new site openings in both the latter part of 2014 and early 2015 as well as the increased contribution from food driven by our upgrade and rebranding programme.”

German the recipe box delivery service Marley Spoon has raised €15m in a funding drive as well as securing up to €40m in media services from GMPVC, a media-for-equity fund, bringing the total raised to date to €29m with up to €40m in additional media volume. The new round of funding will primarily enable the launch of its west coast US fulfilment operations. Marley Spoon was launched in Germany and has since expanded to the UK, The Netherlands, Australia and the US.

The FTSE 100 has started the week on the front food - up 0.5% to 6,167.4pts this morning.

Strong early risers include McColl’s Retail Group (MCLS), up 4.3% to 157.5p, Ocado (OCDO), up 2.7% to 265.8p, Poundland (PLND), up 2% to 166.3p and Marks and Spencer (MKS), up 1.2% to 403p after falling on Friday on the back of some negative broker commentary.

Finsbury Food Group (FIF) is down 2.2% to 108.1p and Cranswick (CWK) is down 2.2% to 1,947p.

Applegreen shares are up 2% to 358p so far today.

This week in the City

After annual results from Morrisons (MRW) and Waitrose last week, attention to Sainsbury’s (SBRY) and Ocado (OCDO) this we.

Both are scheduled to issue trading statements tomorrow morning with both companies in the focus of much recent interest. Sainsbury’s will update of fourth quarter trading, but most interest will be on whether there is any update on its pursuit of Home Retail Group (HOME) and Argos. Ocado is fresh from renegotiating terms with Morrisons after its Amazon tie-up and the market will want to hear more about the implications and progress of Ocado’s own third party international negotiations.

Also this week there are interim results from Finsbury Food Group (FIF) and internationally Moy Park owner JBS will issue its fourth quarter results.

In economic news, the main focus is Wednesday’s budget, with George Osborne likely to announce a raise in the level at which the 40p tax rate kicks in, but is also likely to need to find around £4bn of new cost savings by the end of the current parliament.

Wednesday also brings the UK Employment Report, while the Bank of England meet to discuss interest rates again on Thursday – though no dramatic move on rate is expected.