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Nichols (NICL)

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Nichols Q1 revenue rises amid strong international performance

01 May 19

LONDON (ShareCast) - (Sharecast News) - Soft drinks group Nichols reported a jump in first-quarter revenue on Wednesday amid strong growth in international sales.
In a brief statement ahead of its annual general meeting, the company said total group revenue in the first quarter of 2019 rose 10.1% from the same period a year ago to 30.6m.

International sales were up 24.4% from Q118 to 6.5m as the Middle East returned to growth following the relatively softer comparatives last year. In the UK, meanwhile, sales were up 6.8% at 24.1m.

"Whilst we believe that trading conditions will remain challenging in 2019, we anticipate that full year earnings will be in line with market expectations," Nichols said.

Shore Capital analyst Alex Smith said: "Although we view this as a strong start to the year, as per the group's cautionary comments on the outlook, the UK faces demanding weather related comps whilst also having benefited from last year's CO2 shortage, whilst there is no certainty of further delivery of shipments to Yemen.

"Consensus currently has FY19E profit before tax at 32.9m (up +3.5% on 2018) and earnings per share of 72.6p (up +5.0% versus 2018)."

Numis also said the update signals a positive start to the year. "This momentum is encouraging, but it should be remembered that Q1 is a relatively quiet month for soft drinks and that the majority of the growth was driven by a return to normal trading in the Middle East.

"As such, we are not extrapolating the Q1 performance for FY 2019 and maintain forecasts for 3.8% adjusted profit before tax growth to 33.0m in FY 2019e. Given the current rating of 24.3x price-to-earnings and limited growth prospects, we see limited reasons to change our hold rating."

At 1020 BST, the shares were down 0.1% at 1,780p.

Note 1: Prices and trades are provided by Digital Look Corporate Solutions and are delayed by at least 15 minutes.


Market Data

Currency UK Pounds
Price 1,615.00p
Change Today 55.00p
52 Week High 1,880.00p
52 Week Low 1,350.00p
Volume 3,980
Shares Issued 36.88m
Market Cap 595.67m


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