Vimto owner Nichols (NICL) has reported surging UK sales following a “strong performance” by the soft drink brand.

Group revenue was up 7.4% year on year to £117.3m, with UK sales up 7% year on year to £90.7m despite a “challenging trading environment”, the company said in its full-year results today.

Vimto “significantly” outperformed the wider soft drinks market, with sales up 4.7% to £72.5m compared with the 1% growth across the category [Nielsen 52 w/e 31 December 2016].

UK revenues were also boosted by its acquisition of the remaining stake in The Noisy Drinks Company in January, the company said.

“The addition of frozen drinks has enhanced our out of home offer to the customer, which also includes dispense and packaged soft drinks across both the still and carbonate market,” it added. “As a result, we believe Vimto out of home offers a unique proposition to this segment of the soft drinks market.”

International sales were up 8.8% year on year to £26.6m, driven by a 32.5% surge in sales to Africa to £10.5m. Vimto sales also showed “healthy growth” in the Middle East.

Nichols CEO Marnie Millard warned there would be cost and currency exchange pressures in 2017, with the soft drinks market remaining challenging, but said the group was well-placed to continue its growth.

“I believe our diversification across different routes to market, our geographical reach and our track record of successful and profitable brand growth puts us in a strong position to deliver future success.”