Britvic sales sink 16% on lockdown hit

(Reuters) - British soft drinks maker Britvic BVIC.L posted lower third-quarter revenue on Wednesday, as coronavirus-induced lockdowns closed thousands of bars, restaurants and other outlets where its drinks are sold.

Britvic, whose brands include Tango, J2O, Fruit Shoot and Teisseire, said its revenue fell 16.3% to 328.9 million pounds ($418.33 million) for the three months to June 30, adding that the quarter showed the full market impact of the lockdown.

“In the near term there remains a high degree of uncertainty about the pace and level of full recovery,” Chief Executive Officer Simon Litherland said.

The world's largest soda maker, Coca-Cola Co KO.N, said on Tuesday demand for its beverages was improving after reporting a 28% slump in sales in the "most challenging" quarter of the year.

Britvic said it was too early to judge the impact of restaurants, pubs and cinemas gradually reopening, and maintained its forecast of an up to 18 million pounds a month hit to adjusted operating profit for the year due to the crisis.

Vimto-maker Nichols NICL.L posted a 78.2% plunge in pretax profit to 2.9 million pounds for the six months ended June 30, and said lockdowns had a significant impact on the company.

Nichols said it was not in a position to provide financial forecast for the rest of 2020 and beyond. However, the company said it would reinstate its final dividend from 2019 as the interim dividend for 2020 due to its “strong cash performance”.

Reporting by Tanishaa Nadkar in Bengaluru; Editing by Shounak Dasgupta and Vinay Dwivedi