UPDATE 1-Britvic revenue boosted by demand for low sugar beverages

(Adds CEO quote, analyst comment, background)

Jan 31 - British soft drinks company Britvic Plc reported higher first-quarter revenue on Thursday, driven by sales of low sugar and fruit-based beverages.

Britvic, whose brands include Tango, J2O, Fruit Shoot and Teisseire, said revenue rose 4.5 percent to 352.4 million pounds ($462.70 million) in the quarter.

The FTSE 250 company is adapting to changing preferences of consumers as they opt for low sugar and healthier drinks and dealing with Britain’s sugar tax levy that came into force last April. It is also fending off competition from Nichols Plc and Refresco by adding citrus variants to its portfolio.

“Overall, we view this as a solid update and as a result there is no change to our positive view on the stock underpinned by a strong low-sugar focused portfolio of brands,” said Goodbody analyst Patrick Higgins.

Britvic’s Chief Executive Officer, Simon Litherland, said the firm was confident of making further progress in 2019. ($1 = 0.7616 pounds) (Reporting by Karina Dsouza and Noor Zainab Hussain in Bengaluru Editing by Saumyadeb Chakrabarty)