Robinsons supplier Britvic enjoyed a double-digit boost to its share prices this week as rising volumes helped to boost revenues and profits in the first half.

In the six months to 31 March, the soft drinks group reported a 4.4% increase in volumes thanks to “strong” consumer demand for its brands, including “standout” growth for Pepsi Max, Ballygowan, Fruit Shoot and Lipton. Volumes accelerated, moving from a rise of 1.7% in the first quarter to 7.4% in the second.

Britvic reported an 8.8% rise in revenues to £592.2m in Great Britain, where it owns the likes of Fruit Shoot, Robinsons, Tango, J2O, Plenish and Jimmy’s Iced Coffee, as well as holding the licence to sell Pepsi, 7up and Lipton Ice Tea. Volumes in the half increased 2.6%.

Britvic highlighted Pepsi as the key growth driver, with revenues up 8.5%. However, it also highlighted a “truly outstanding” half for Plenish, which enjoyed a 168.5% boost to revenues.

This growth contributed to a 11.2% increase in overall revenues to £880.3m and a 17.7% jump in adjusted EBIT to £100.4m.

As a result, Britvic increased its interim dividend by 15.9% to 9.5p and announced a third share buyback programme for up to £75m over the next 12 months.

CEO Simon Litherland said he was “delighted” with the first-half performance, noting a 38% hike in investment behind the group’s brands in the growth period.

The company’s shares leapt 11% on the news to 1,018p – the stock’s highest level for almost three years and now up 18.7% so far in 2024.

“The strong topline and bottom line delivery in the context of a challenging macro environment is further evidence of a structural transformation,” said broker Morgan Stanley.

Peel Hunt welcomed a “very strong start to the year”, but cautioned the second half would be more important than the first as it encompasses the key summer period and makes up 60% of revenues and profits.

“The comps for the third are very tough due to the weather last year, but the fourth quarter was softer, so we expect growth to moderate a little in the second half,” it said. However, it increased its forecasts and price target from 1,000p to 1,100p on the first half outperformance.

Jefferies added: “The shares could see some upward re-rating given the strong underlying momentum. We continue to see an attractive dynamic for beer and soft drinks into the summer.”