Soft drinks group Britvic lifted its expectations for full-year operating profit after fine sunny weather in its final quarter helped drum up strong sales.
The maker of Robinsons squash and Tango said today that operating profit would be slightly above the top end of the previously guided £125-131m sterling range.
Revenue in the three months to September 29, its fourth quarter, rose 12.8% to £366.4m, up from a 4% rise in the third quarter, as Britons snapped up more drinks during the hot summer at higher prices.
The firm also benefited from the recovery of its children's drink Fruit Shoot, which had to be recalled in July 2012 due to faulty caps, but whose market share was now back at pre-recall levels and growing.
Revenues were up 13.8% in its core British market, 1.8% up in Ireland and 13.5% higher in France.
On Ireland, the company said that the underlying trading conditions here were largely unchanged from last year with the revenue growth in the fourt quarter reflecting the benefit of the good weather. It also noted the ongoing consumer focus on value in the Irish market.
The company said that its full-year revenue rose 4.4% to £1.32 billion, in line with market expectations.
Under Simon Litherland, who became chief executive in February, Britvic has launched a big cost savings drive and accelerated expansion overseas in markets including the US and Spain. That strategy comes after the firm rejected an improved proposal from smaller rival AG Barr for an all-share merger in July.
Britvic also makes and sells PepsiCo brands such as Pepsi and 7UP in Ireland and Britain and is valued at about £1.5 billion.