Robinsons owner hopes for strong summer after lockout washout
Beverage maker Robinsons and J2O Britvic has taken a hit on sales as the most recent lockdowns on pubs, cafes and restaurants have seen business struggle.
But bosses said they hoped for a summer of drinking again and expected to see a surge in energy drinks as cloudy-eyed commuters start returning to the office.
Sales for the six months to the end of March fell 11.7% to £ 617.1million, as pre-tax profits fell from £ 53.6million to £ 42.7million books over the period.
Growth in the company’s At-Home channels – sales in supermarkets and convenience stores – grew 6.2% compared to the overall soft drink market, which grew only 1.6% % over the period.
Britvic said this was driven by sales of Robinsons, Pepsi Max and 7UP. The company holds the exclusive UK distribution rights for PepsiCo until 2040.
This summer, the company will relaunch energy drink Rockstar to boost the industry’s growth – which it estimates at £ 1.3 billion.
The company said, “This will include a new brand identity, better tasting liquids with additional functional benefits, as well as a major marketing program.”
Bosses also highlighted the purchase of Plenish – a premium plant-based drink brand – in hopes of expanding into the fast-growing region.
Despite the decline in sales and profits, the company also said it would pay a dividend of 6.5pa per share – after scrapping it during the pandemic.
Managing Director Simon Litherland said: “Under difficult circumstances, we delivered a strong performance in the first half, demonstrating the resilience and agility of our business.”
He added: “In the second half of the year, we plan to replenish the investments behind our brands to ensure that we emerge strongly and are best positioned for the recovery as it evolves.
“As foreclosure restrictions have started to ease in some of our markets, early trading is encouraging.”