Fentimans has posted a sparkling set of results as the posh pop brand benefited from increased demand overseas and the growing popularity of premium mixers and sophisticated substitutes for alcohol.

Overall sales grew 25% to £19.4m, with a 60% rise in export sales to £6.1m in the year to 31 July 2015. With exports in 62 countries international accounted for 31.3% of the total during the year, up from 24.5% in 2013/14, according to the newly filed accounts.

Underlying operating profits slipped slightly from £545k to £539k but pre-tax profits jumped to £521k from a loss of £3.2m caused by an exceptional cost of £3.7m related to a loan write off.

MD Eldon Robson, great grandson of founder Thomas Fentiman, said with strong volume and value growth, there were no signs of the performance slowing down.

“We have recently invested in larger premises, IT systems and new people to join the team,” he added. “Looking to the future, with buoyant consumer demand and a healthy NPD pipeline, the expectation is that Fentimans will continue its stellar growth trajectory.”

The latest results come as the soft drink industry falls under intense scrutiny following the proposals by chancellor George Osborne to ­introduce a sugar levy in 2018.

Fentimans’ range would be one of the hardest hit, with more than 75% of its products attracting the higher tax for drinks with 8g of sugar or more, according to research conducted for The Grocer by Brand View in March.

However, a statement by Fentimans this week said it remained “upbeat”and was actively exploring ways to reduce sugar in its drinks. “The introduction of a single-ingredient focus on the soft drink category with no structured programme applied to other categories is not going to solve the nation’s health agenda,” Fentimans said. “Only a holistic wide-ranging strategy that is multi-category will seriously tackle this issue.”

Rapid growth at the brand, which has more than 100 years of heritage, has been driven by innovation in both the soft drinks and the premium mixers category, with a Sparkling Lime & Jasmine variant launched in March to meet growing demand from adults seeking a substitute for alcohol.

The business is also seeking to challenge Fever-Tree’s position as the leading supplier of premium mixers. “Having a foothold in both the premium soft drinks and mixers categories puts us at an advantage to increase our earnings,” COO David Charlton said.