Investors cheer as Britvic profits fizz

SOFT drinks firm Britvic yesterday reported a better than expected 23 per cent rise in full-year profits, helped by market share gains and price rises, and said trade in its new fiscal year had started well.<br /><br />The producer and licensed bottler of drinks under brands including Robinsons, Tango, J2O, Pepsi and 7Up, posted a pre-tax profit of &pound;86.5m on sales 5.6 per cent higher at &pound;978.8m for the year to 27 September.<br /><br />It raised the final dividend 23.9 per cent to 10.9p to give a total payout for the year of 15p a share, up from 12.6p last time.<br /><br />Chief executive Paul Moody said: &ldquo;We are encouraged by our strong performance in the early weeks of the new financial year, building on our track record of top-line, margins and quality of earnings growth.&rdquo;