Britvic posts loss on $172m in charges at Irish unit
Britvic Plc, the maker of Robinson’s fruit drinks, fell the most since January 2009 in London trading after reporting its first full-year loss in at least seven years on writedowns and restructuring charges at its Irish unit.
The shares fell as much as 9.3pc. Britvic posted a net loss of £48.2m (€57m) in the 53 weeks ended October 3, compared with a profit of £46.8m for the 52 weeks ended September 27, 2009, the Chelmsford, England-based company said in a statement.
Revenue climbed 16pc to £1.14bn, after the May acquisition of Britvic France.
Britvic booked a one-time impairment charge of £104.2m (€123m) on the value of Britvic Ireland’s intangible and property assets, in addition to a £5.7m restructuring charge.
Chief Executive Officer Paul Moody said today on a conference call he didn’t expect any “near-term” changes in the value of the Irish business that would require further write-downs.
Britvic fell 8.3pc to 450.1 pence as of 9.51am, giving the company a market value of £1.1bn.
Britvic spent about €249m in 2007 to expand into Ireland by buying C&C Group Plc’s soft-drink unit.
Moody said the company expects to reach “closure” on a restructuring plan for the company’s Irish business in “a month or two.” Irish management are in talks with employees and their unions about changes at the business, Moody said, declining to comment on potential job cuts.
Revenue at Britvic’s British carbonates and stills operations climbed in 2010, as the company continue to gain market share. The company announced a full-year dividend of 16.7 pence per share, an increase of 11pc.
Britvic expects “challenging conditions” in each of its markets related to cost pressures in a “difficult consumer environment” Moody said today.
The soft-drinks market is likely to “perform well” even if economic conditions deteriorate next year, as expected, according to Moody, because of the products low cost and “staple” characteristic.