Drinks company Nichols is set for a September sales boost with the beginning today of Ramadan.

Nichols’ main brand, Vimto, has become a popular feature of the Muslim holy season in Saudi Arabia and elsewhere in the Middle East, where the drink is used as a post-fast pick-me-up.

Chairman John Nichols said the earlier occurrence of Ramadan this year had helped boost the company’s first-half performance, offsetting tough domestic trading for other brands including Sunkist and Panda.

Last month the soft drinks manufacturer Nichols posted a climb in pre-tax profits of more than 15% for the six months to 30 June.

Group sales were up by 5% for the first half of the year, from £27.8m in 2007 to £29.2m, as pre-tax gains climbed 15.5% to £3.2m.