Revenues top £170m at Vimto maker Nichols

Merseyside Vimto maker Nichols sees annual revenues rise above £170m, with profits also up, driven by improved sales to retailers and wholesalers overseas. Tony McDough reports

Vimto
Vimto maker Nichols is reporting a rise in revenues and profits

 

Strong sales to retailers and wholesalers have driven up annual revenues and profits at Vimto maker Nichols.

Stock market-listed Nichols, which is based in Newton-le-Willows, said revenues for the 12 months to December 31, 2023, are up 3.5% to £170.7. Pre-tax profits have risen 75.3% to £24.3m.

Nichols makes and sells Vimto and other soft drinks brands, including SLUSH PUPPiE Feel Good, Starslush, ICEE, Levi Roots and Sunkist, across the UK and more than 70 countries.

Vimto is particularly popular in the Muslim world during the holy month of Ramadan. It provides a quick boost of sugar-filled energy following the dawn ’til dusk fast.

Its best performing division during was in its so-called packaged businesses. This is where it sells to major retailers and wholesalers. This was up 6.1% overall but its international packaged revenues rose by a substantial 16.8%.

There was “continued strong progress” in international markets reflecting strong market penetration across existing and new territories in Africa and the Middle East. In-store displays during Ramadan helped drive the increase in sales, Nichols added.

The business is also seeing improvement in its out-of-home (OOH) division which supplies its products to hospitality outlets such as cafes, bars and hotels as well as leisure venues, following a strategic review.

Revenues are down by 3.4% as it exits unprofitable accounts. Nichols wrote down the value of the division by £1.8m.

Nichols said  2024 trading has started well and said its strong balance sheet offered the opportunity for “future investment in organic growth and targeted acquisitions”.

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Chief executive Andrew Milne said: “2023 was a year of strong progress and execution for Nichols as the packaged business delivered another year of growth underpinned by the Vimto brand.

“Benefits from the newly streamlined OoH business were delivered earlier than anticipated. The group delivered a very strong performance in international markets driven by strong market penetration across existing and new territories in Africa and the Middle East.

“Innovation remains a critical growth driver and we have an exciting pipeline of new products planned for 2024. Building on the progress achieved in 2023, I am confident about our prospects for 2024.”

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