Agriculture and Food

Soft drinks maker's results see it toast gross profit of almost £225 million

Written by: Andrew Merrell | Posted 11 August 2020 9:05

Soft drinks maker's results see it toast gross profit of almost £225 million

It is possible the bosses at one of Gloucestershire's biggest employers and perhaps its most famous drinks maker will have toasted this year's results with something stronger than Ribena. 

Although if it wanted to remain on-brand Lucozade Ribena Suntory, which employs an estimated 330 at its Forest of Dean manufacturing plant, would have plenty of options on its shelves. 

Some £13 million invested in the Coleford plant over the last few years by Japan-based Suntory Beverage & Food has allowed it to keep its famous brands top of mind UK-wide. 

Despite the heavy spend, its annual result for the year ending December 31 2019, just published, show turnover, operating profits and profits after tax all up. 

“Sales revenue increased from £412.5m in 2018 to £425.6m in 2019. Gross profits increased from £213.6m in 2018 to £224.8m in 2019. Administrative expenses increased from £116.2m in 2018 to £129m in 2019. 

“At 31 December 2019 the company's net assets were £900.1m, an increase of £20m from the previous year, which reflects the profitability of the company in the year net of a capital reduction during the year of £37.5m." 

Total borrowing increased from £325.3m to £385m in 2018. 

In a report which makes only a brief mention of the potential risks its business of the world-wide coronavirus pandemic, the business reaffirms its commitment to ongoing sugar and carbon footprint reduction programmes. 

"The soft drink sector is likely to remain challenging, with intense competition amongst the major retailer and the continued pressure on household budgets. 

“The directors believe the foundation the company has built, coupled with significant planned investment and commitments to its brands, products, customers and supplier relationships, and its employees, put it in a good position for future growth.” 

It also underlines what it calls the "potential risks" of Brexit, mainly from the resulting transition period changing the regulatory framework.