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Vimto maker cautions on Mideast sales

John Noel Nichols founded Vimto in 1908. (Shutterstock)
LONDON: The UK producer of Vimto has warned of tougher trading conditions in the Middle East.
The soft drinks company Nichols said that the the war in Yemen has led to a supply disruption which could impact sales.
While sales in the 12 months to December are still forecast to rise, the company now expects its adjusted pretax profit to be in line with last year’s results, according to a filing on the London Stock Exchange.
Nichols said it forecast low single-digit profit growth next year due to the Yemen crisis as well concerns about a possible slowdown in the Saudi Arabian economy.
It said sales to the Middle East in 2018 “are likely to be less than previously expected.”
Vimto has long been popular across the Middle East – especially during Ramadan when sales have tended to rise significantly.
Elsewhere, the company said its Africa business has been “excellent” with full-year revenue forecast to exceed last year’s results by 20 percent.
It said the “strong growth trend” in the region is likely to continue in 2018.
As of November, UK Vimto sales were up nine percent year-on-year.
The company said it was ready for the UK government’s sugar levy, with Vimto and its Feel Good fruit drinks already below the required threshold.
The levy places a limit on the amount of sugar that soft drinks in the UK can contain, and it is due to come into force next April.
Nichols will be posting the group’s preliminary results on March 1, 2018.

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