Britvic has reported a drop in annual sales following the Fruit Shoot recall earlier this year.

The Pepsi bottler, which is in merger talks with AG Barr, said group sales fell 2.6% on a reported currency basis to £1.26bn in the year to 30 September.

The damage was done in the fourth quarter when the Fruit Shoot recall caused sales to plunge 8.4% to £321.7m.

There was also little cheer for the company outside the UK. In the fourth quarter, only France was in positive growth. Irish sales continued to decline and the Fruit Shoot recall affected export sales to Belgium and the Netherlands.

However, Britvic said there were positives in the sales figures, including a strong performance by the fizzy drinks brands in the UK and Robinsons.

“Encouraging progress on Robinsons during the second half of the year has been overshadowed by the Fruit Shoot recall,” said Britvic CEO Paul Moody.

Britvic and AG Barr are due to conclude their merger discussions by 31 October.

Related link:

Technical paper: Product Recall & Contamination