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Britvic shares fizz as hikes payout, launches buyback amid profit jump

15th May 2024 10:08

(Alliance News) - Shares in Britvic PLC soared on Wednesday as it launched a fresh share buyback amid double-digit growth in half-year sales and profit.

Shares in the Hemel Hempstead, England-based soft drinks maker, behind brands such as Robinsons squash and R White's lemonade, soared 11% to 1,017.00 pence in London on Wednesday morning.

In the six months ended March, Britvic said pretax profit rose 13% to GBP78.2 million from GBP69.3 million a year prior.

This came as revenue climbed 11% to GBP880.3 million from GBP794.0 million. Basic earnings per share rose 15% to 24.1p from 21.0p.

As a result, Britvic launched a new GBP75 million share buyback to be completed over the next 12 months.

Britivic said this reflected its "strong earnings, free cashflow generation, and positive outlook".

It also boosted the interim dividend by 16% to 9.5p per share from 8.2p.

Britvic said growth was "robust" with all three business units achieving revenue, contribution and margin expansion. It highlighted "standout growth" from Pepsi MAX, Ballygowan, MiWadi, Fruit Shoot and Lipton.

Brazil performed particularly well with revenue up 35%, driven by both the core portfolio and a recently integrated energy drink acquisition.

Chief Executive Simon Litherland described the results as "excellent".

"As expected, our market-leading growth comes from the combination of another strong performance from our scale family favourite brands, coupled with accelerated growth in Brazil and across multiple new growth spaces, such as London Essence, Aqua Libra and Plenish."

"Looking forward, I am confident that we will deliver a strong full year performance. In the medium term, I firmly believe the continued execution of our strategy and growth drivers will allow us to sustainably outperform both the market and our historical top-line growth rate, leaving the company poised to continue our long-standing track record of delivering outstanding returns for our shareholders."

By Jeremy Cutler, Alliance News reporter

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