Ramadan demand boosts Vimto maker's H1 profits

Soft drinks group Nichols says H1 sales boosted by earlier start to holy month.
Ramadan demand boosts Vimto maker's H1 profits
ORDERS BOOST: The earlier start to Ramadan has resulted in more demand from the Middle East for Vimto.
By Joanne Bladd
Thu 05 Aug 2010 11:16 AM

Soft drinks group Nichols, the makers of purple fruit drink Vimto, said on Thursday it had posted a 39 percent rise in profits on the back of a surge of pre-Ramadan shipments to the Middle East.

The fizzy drink, which has been distributed in the region since 1928 by Saudi’s Aujan Industries, has a near monopoly during the Holy Month, when it is used by Muslims as a quick energy boost after fasting.

In an eight-week period, including pre- and post-Ramadan sales, Gulf Muslims drink eight months’ worth of Vimto sales, Aujan has said.

Nichols’ pre-tax profit for the first half of 2010 rose 39 percent to £6m ($9.5m), up from £4.3m in 2009.

Sales rose 17.6 percent to £44.2m, up from £37.5m in the year-earlier period.

Revenue from outside the UK rose 38.6 percent on the back of Vimto exports to the Middle East, the firm said in a statement.

“Sales into the Middle East have again benefited from the earlier timing of Ramadan… resulting in more Vimto concentrate being shipped in the first half year of 2010 than in the corresponding period in 2009.”

The Middle East is Nichols’ largest export market.

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