Fruit drops added to Vimto confectionary

Vimto maker Nichols has reported a double-digit increase in profits

Vimto brand owner Nichols has reported a double-digit increase in half-year profits – boosted by strong UK sales.

Nichols said pre-exceptional profit before tax had risen 11% to £10m in the six months ending 30 June.

However, as the company warned earlier this month, it incurred an exceptional cost of £8m related damages the company had to pay to settle a claim from Gul Bottlers in Pakistan. This meant pre-tax profit after exceptional items was £2.03m.

The soft drinks supplier said the pre-exceptional profits were boosted by its strategy of focusing on value over volume.

Group sales during the period rose by 3% to £56.6m. UK sales grew by 8% to £43.8m boosted by particularly strong carbonate sales.

The strong domestic performance helped to offset weakness internationally. Nichols said international sales fell by 12% - primarily because a change in the timing of shipments of Vimto concentrate to the Middle East. It said in-country sales continued to grow strongly – rising 7% in the region.

International sales were also hit by the strength of Sterling – which Nichols estimated accounted for three percentage points of the 12% decline.