Branding: Britvic sets sights on European properties

The UK soft-drinks market is likely to see an influx of brands from Northern and Western Europe, according to Britvic.

The company, the second-biggest in the UK soft-drinks market, is looking at brands in the regions as part of a plan to expand its portfolio and increase its distribution network.

Chief executive Paul Moody said Britvic is considering 'several interesting brands that would work well in the UK' and within its portfolio.

Last May Britvic acquired CCSD, the soft-drinks and distribution businesses of Ireland's C&C Group, for £169.5m.

The deal brought it a stable of mainly Irish-sold products including Ballygowan water, Club Orange soft drinks and MiWadi squash, as well as the bottling rights for 7Up and Pepsi in Ireland and Northern Ireland.

Britvic has since launched Robinsons and J2O in Ireland and has considered a national roll-out of Ballygowan, which currently has limited distribution in the UK.

According to Simon Stewart, marketing director at Britvic, the UK should expect an increase of foreign brands entering the market from continental Europe on the back of a strong euro.

The value of the currency, which is used by 15 European nations, has risen against both the pound and the US dollar this year.

Last month, Britvic announced profits for the six months to April of £17.2m, up 13% on the same period in 2007. Sales for the period were up 28.6%.

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