Source: Innocent

The company delivered one billion portions of fruit and veg to a total of 47 million consumers during 2018

Innocent has posted further revenue growth last year, with sales rocketing to nearly £400m as health-conscious consumers flocked to buy its smoothies.

Group-wide turnover for Innocent’s parent company Fresh Trading showed sales of £397m for the 12 months to 31 December 2018, up 7.5% from £369.9m the year before.

Headline growth was driven by higher sales in Europe, with the company launching into Iberia and Italy during the year and becoming the number one chilled juice in France.

An additional two million people snapped up a bottle of Innocent juices during the year, for a total of 47 million consumers.

The brand has also looked to “diversify” beyond smoothies and juices, launching a gazpacho soup and dairy-free range.

‘The year ended 31 December 2018 was another successful year for Innocent,’ the report stated.

‘With the majority of people in Europe still falling short of the 5-a-day target, we are proud that we have delivered more than one billion portions of fruit and vegetables to our drinkers, with over 47 million people enjoying one of our healthy drinks.’

The group swung back to a £5.4m pre-tax profit, having reported a £11.2m loss last year, driven wholly by movement in fair value of unrealised derivatives.

Excluding this derivative accounting, 2018 saw the company generate an operating loss of £4.4m “in line with its plan” of investing in long-term growth opportunities.

Some of these opportunities include establishing operations in Japan and China, as the brand prepared to launch outside of Europe for the first time.

The business made its debut in Tokyo at the end of September with versions of its Seriously Strawberry, Magnificent Mango and Gorgeous Greens smoothies.

The trio of fruit drinks is poised to become available in Shanghai in the first quarter of next year, as part of an expansion plan across 10 key cities in Asia. 

The company, which is certified as a B Corp, also contributed £1m to the Innocent foundation, which seeks to help people lacking food globally.

A further £400k was donated to age-concern charities across Europe, as well as £300k to promote the benefits of growing vegetables in schools.

By 2022, Innocent aims for all of its bottles to come from 100% renewable materials as it seeks to “get healthy drinks to people in a way that keeps the planet healthy too”.

Looking ahead, Innocent said that, despite cost pressures and the uncertainty related to Brexit, it is “positive about its growth prospects”.

“We will keep building business for the long term, investing our profits in further new product ranges as we have done again this year, in the right way for the planet and people around us,” it added.