Nichols Plc - 2019 Trading Update

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Nichols plc

(the "Company" or "Group")

Trading update

Nichols plc, today issues the following trading update for the year ended 31 December 2019.

We are pleased to report that the Group's revenue increased by 3.6% to £147.2m for the year. This performance was delivered across the Group with all three areas of the business showing growth, which once again reflects the benefits of our strong diversified operating model.

UK sales totalled £117.7m, 2.7% ahead of the prior year. Within the UK, Vimto brand sales grew by 0.8% against a very strong prior year comparative (12.9%) and in line with the overall soft drinks market (+0.7% Nielsen YTD 30 Nov 2019). Elsewhere in the UK, Out of Home sales were £45.7m, an increase of 8.4% compared to the prior year. This performance was driven by the acquisition of Adrian Mecklenburgh Limited (acquired February 2019) and new sales of the ICEE brand (frozen beverage) in the second half of the year.

Revenue in our international markets grew by 7.5% to £29.5m. Sales to the Middle East were £11.6m, an increase of 20.6% in comparison to softer prior year comparatives.  

In summary, the Board is very pleased with the Group sales performance and we currently anticipate full year Profit Before Tax to be in line with market expectations.

The outlook for 2020 remains in line with the Trading Update reported 23 December 2019.

John Nichols, Chairman of Nichols plc commented:

"We are pleased with the sales performance in 2019 reflecting growth across all three areas of our business. The Vimto brand has again performed very well in the UK, despite strong prior year comparatives.

"Underpinned by the Group's diversified business model, strong brands and successful track record, the Board remains confident of Nichols Plc's long-term progress."