Britvic confident despite costly Fruit Shoot recall hitting results

SOFT drinks group Britvic, maker of the J2O and Tango brands, yesterday blamed a recall of its Robinsons Fruit Shoot drinks earlier this summer for hitting its full-year revenue.

Withdrawing the bottles, due to faulty non-spill caps, cost the company £25m, and dented revenue growth by an estimated two per cent.

Group revenue for the 12 months to 30 September was just over £1.2bn for the year, a decline of 0.8 per cent on 2011.

Volumes fell 1.6 per cent.

The FTSE 250 company, which has bottling agreements with PepsiCo brands Pepsi and 7UP in Britain and Ireland, said it was confident about meeting full-year targets.

“We continue to place a strong emphasis on cash generation and rigorous cost management across the group,” chief executive Paul Moody said in a trading update yesterday.

Britvic is currently in talks with Scottish Irn-Bru maker AG Barr over a potential £1.3bn merger. Yesterday the company said talks were ongoing.

Poor summer weather affected final quarter trading in Britain and Ireland, where revenue slid by 4.3 per cent and 8.5 per cent.

Shares in Britvic, which have risen by nearly 12 per cent since the beginning of 2012, slipped slightly yesterday to close at 360p, valuing the company at £868.8m.