Nichols up in the face of sour results

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Nichols up in the face of sour results

AIM-listed soft drinks firm Nichols (LON:NICL) saw its share price rise by 1.84% to 1,145.75p (as of 15:30 GMT) despite posting a 79.8% drop in pre-tax profits for the year ended 31st December. Revenues for the period were down by 19.3% as out-of-home consumption was heavily hit by COVID restrictions around the world.

Chairman John Nichols commented: “The Covid-19 pandemic presented us with unequalled challenges in 2020 and our first and most important objective through this unprecedented period has been the protection and wellbeing of our employees and customers. Throughout these difficult times, our colleagues have consistently demonstrated their values and commitment to our business, and I would like to wholeheartedly thank everyone for their efforts.

The strength of the Vimto brand, the Group’s robust balance sheet and our diversified business model has ensured a resilient financial performance in the period despite the challenging trading conditions across our markets. We have achieved significant outperformance from the Vimto brand in the UK, solid growth in Africa and a good performance in the Middle East despite the impact of the recently introduced Sweetened Beverage Tax (SBT) and Covid-19 restrictions.

Whilst recognising the current and near-term impact of the pandemic on the soft drinks market, the Board continues to believe that Nichols, underpinned by the strength of the Vimto brand, the Group’s diversified business model and the skill and commitment of our colleagues, remains well placed to deliver its long-term strategic ambitions. Given the continued near-term uncertainty, 2021 guidance remains withdrawn“.

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