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Gloucestershire Business News

Ribena and Lucozade sparkle after lockdown ends

Lucozade Energy and Ribena, with a factory in Coleford, have both seen strong growth and Lucozade Sport has roared back with 60% growth following the ending of lockdown restrictions.

The soft drink firm saw sales fall 9.5% in the year to 31 December 2020, from £425.6m to £385.2m, as impulse and out-of-home purchases, as well as those relating to sporting activities were hit by lockdown.

The brands are owned by Japanese parent company Suntory Beverage and Food.

Despite the fall in sales, operating profits improved from £73.1m to £77.2m as the company tightened budgeting for marketing and administrative expenses, cutting these costs from £120.5m in 2019 to £95.3m in 2020.

Conor Brew, SBF GB&I Finance Director, said: "The latest rolling quarter has seen our revised approach and hard work pay off. Combined with the relaxing of covid restrictions, we've outperformed the category dramatically, with sales figures up 22.3% versus the soft drinks category at 10.2%."

Market dynamics shifted dramatically for soft drinks throughout the Covid crisis. There was lower footfall, less community sport and people took fewer shopping trips which had a dramatic impact on 'impulse' buying and reliable sporting income streams.

Brew added: "We pride ourselves on being an agile business and introduced new drink-later and drink now formats at lightning pace to create a stronger portfolio, fit for even more occasions.

"We introduced zero-based budgeting as part of a best-practice business drive to ensure every penny we spend is effective and efficient.

"Of course, it takes longer than a few quarters to recover and soft drinks manufacturers and the wider industry are facing yet more challenges during this key sales period. We've demonstrated our capacity to adapt and fight back, and we're confident we can tackle these latest obstacles to deliver a year of growth."

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