Vimto maker reports 10.5% rise in profits 

Half-year profits up 10.5% to £11.2m at Merseyside Vimto maker Nichols thanks to a rise in sales to retailers and wholesalers but hospitality market trade fell 3.5%. Tony McDonough reports

Vimto, Nichols
Vimto maker Nichols is reporting a rise in half-year profits


Vimto maker Nichols is reporting a rise in half-year pre-tax profits to £11.2m thanks to strong sales to wholesalers and retailers from its packaged division.

Group revenue increased 6.6% to £85.5m in the six months to June 30. Packaged revenues were up10.4% to £64.5m. Within that international packaged revenues rose 24.6% to £21.5m. Middle East revenues were up 17.5% and Africa 26.1%.

However, the stock market-listed Newton-le-Willows firm saw sales fall 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.

Nichols is currently implementing a strategic review of OOH business and hopes to see improvement by 2024. An exceptional charge of £1.1m in the results was partly attributed to the OOH review.

Nichols 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.

Chief executive Andrew Milne welcomed the “encouraging” half-year performance but added: “We are mindful that consumer spend is still under pressure from continuing high levels of inflation.”

He said: “Particularly pleasing is the growth in our core Packaged business, and the continued accelerated momentum across our international markets with very strong performances in Africa, the Middle East and the rest of the world.

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“The group achieved significant strategic progress during the period, particularly in relation to our OOH business where we are making positive changes to simplify operations and focus on the areas of greatest opportunity and profitability.

“We are on-track to deliver the material benefits of these changes from FY 2024. Meanwhile, we remain focused on accelerating growth in packaged, both in the UK and internationally, in line with our strategic plan.”

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