Operating profits have slumped by more than 20% at Innocent as the smoothie maker battles tough conditions in the UK chilled juice sector.

The Coca-Cola owned drinks firm reported an operating profit of £7.6m for the year to 31 December 2014, 20.8% down from the £9.6m profit it recorded in 2013.

In the accounts, financial director James Davenport said: “In the UK the chilled juice category has been challenging and this had impacted our ability to grow the business.”

Overall turnover was down 0.2% to £201.8m - though this was impacted by its decision to wind down its food business, which ceased to trade in April 2015.

Revenues excluding the food division increased 2% to £193m and its investments in growing sales in France, Germany and Sweden significantly increased export revenues.

Overall UK revenues fell 8.2% to £146.9m, but European revenues rose 29.9% to £54.9m. The overall proportion of revenues generated internationally is now 27.2%, up from 20.9% last year.

Innocent said it launched a number of new products in 2014, including Super Smoothie, and has launched a number of new ranges in 2015, including coconut water and a Bubbles drink.

During the year it sold 752 million portions of fruit, a rise of 2.3% from last year. It is also increasing its workforce, with headcount rising 6.6% to 241 people from 226.

Statutory profits were down a more modest 17.5%, largely thanks to a sharp reduction in Innocent’s UK tax bill.

Innocent received a tax credit of £70k during the year having paid £243k of UK tax in 2013. The standard UK corporate tax rate of 21.5% on Innocent’s £7.5m pre-tax profits would be £1.62m, but Innocent’s payment was reduced by £1.69m of group tax relief.

An Innocent spokesperson said the tax relief from parent company Fresh Trading due to ”the investment we’ve made (and continue to make) on brand and innovation across the whole group”.

The accounts of Innocent’s parent company Fresh Trading Ltd have not yet been published.