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Premium tonic water producer FeverTree (FEVR) has posted a 10% surge in revenues to £260.5m in 2019, largely driven by strong growth in the US.

Last year, sales amounted to £237.4m.

The UK market was described by the business as “challenging” and “highly competitive” with revenues declining 1.1%, despite FeverTree maintaining category leadership.

Meanwhile, key growth markets, including the UK, Germany, Australia and Canada recorded a “very positive” performance with the signing of a bottling partner in the US.

Adjusted EBITDA dropped to £77m from £78.6m in 2018, reflecting ongoing investment for future growth, FevreTree said, while pretax profits dropped to £72.5m from £75.6m. 

For 2020, the company said it had a “solid start” to the new financial year, with trading in the first two months in line with the board’s expectations.

While the coronavirus outbreak will have a “material impact” on the company’s trading this year, FeverTree said it is “financially strong” and has “balanced revenue streams” across multiple regions, channels and customers. 

“The group delivered good growth in 2019 despite a more subdued UK market, with double-digit growth across our international regions. We strengthened our global leadership position and in doing so continued to build a strong platform to deliver long term, sustainable growth,” said co-founder and CEO Tim Warrillow.

“Clearly the scale and impact of COVID-19 has posed some significant challenges across our regions.

“While the on-trade sector is facing an extremely challenging period, we have seen strong sales in the Off-Trade in many of our markets both from the initial buying ahead of lockdown but also in recent weeks as at home consumption has remained robust. While we will not be unaffected by the current situation, especially in the on-trade, Fever-Tree is well positioned to manage our way through this situation.”

Furthermore, Warrillow stressed that the company is “very secure”, being debt-free and with cash reserves of £128m.

Because of its “financial strength”, FeverTree chose to pay a final dividend of 9.88p per share, bringing the total dividend for 2019 to 15.08p, up 4% on the prior year.

Morning update

Global nutrition group Glanbia (GLB) has seen revenues rise 17% in the three months to the beginning of April due to good demand across both its Performance Nutrition and Nutritionals segments. 

The business is now focusing on “navigating” the coronavirus pandemic by protecting the health and safety of its employees, continuing the supply of food and maintaining a strong financial position. 

“Glanbia had a good first quarter of 2020, growing revenues by 17%, constant currency, versus prior year,” MD Siobhán Talbot said.

“Overall demand in our key end markets was positive in the first quarter, however greater volatility in consumer shopping behaviour was evident in recent weeks arising from Covid-19 and due to uncertainty of duration and impact of this pandemic, full year 2020 financial guidance is withdrawn.”

The company’s net debt stood at €690.3m at the beginning of April, representing a decrease of €119.5m  against the same period a year ago.

Glanbia has available total committed banking facilities of €1.15bn, with no facilities coming due for renewal in the next 12 months.

Additionally, to further preserve cash, the company has curtailed discretionary spend, increased working capital monitoring, reduced capital expenditure to key strategic projects and essential maintenance and deferred all M&A activity. 

The FTSE 100 opened 0.7% higher at 5,680.39pts. 

Early risers included FeverTree (FEVR) up 5.7% at 1,442.50p, Glanbia (GLB) up 3.1% at 8.77p and Sainsbury’s (SBRY) up 1.4% at 204.40p.

Fallers saw AG Barr (BAG)  start the day 0.9% back at 477.50p and Premier Foods (PFD) down 3.5% at 40.30p.

Yesterday in the City

The FTSE 100 closed 3% lower at 5,641.03pts.

In a mostly falling index, Diageo (DGE) ended the day down 4.4% at 2,580.50p, Unilever (ULVR) down 2.4% at 4,200p, Associated British Foods (ABF) down 6.1% at 1,865.50p after posting annual results, Coca Cola HBC (CCH) down 4.7% at 1,863.50p and Marks & Spencer (MKS) down 6.9% at 91.04p. 

Among the few risers, Ocado (OCDO) was up 0.8% at 1,600.50p, Morrisons (MRW) up 1.1% at 186.75p and Sainsbury’s (SBRY) up 3.1% at  201.50p.