Britvic Acquires Plant-Based Drinks Company Plenish; Publishes Results For Six Month Period That Ended On March 31; Ballygowan Bottles To Move To 100% Recycled Plastic

By Dave Simpson
Britvic Acquires Plant-Based Drinks Company Plenish; Publishes Results For Six Month Period That Ended On March 31; Ballygowan Bottles To Move To 100% Recycled Plastic

Ballygowan owner Britvic has announced that it has acquired plant-based milks and cold-pressed juices company Plenish.

Britvic stated on its website, "Plenish joins Britvic's portfolio of market-leading brands and strengthens the Group’s offering in the fast-growing plant-based segment.

"Founded in 2012, Plenish offers a range of plant-based milks and plant-powered juice drinks all made from the highest quality, organic and sustainably sourced ingredients. The products are carried by major national grocery retailers. Plenish's sales are further boosted by highly effective marketing and a sophisticated direct-to-consumer sales offer.

"Kara Rosen set up Plenish in 2012 after looking for alternative solutions to deal with a recurring health issue. A native New Yorker, Kara moved to the UK and soon realised that there were no cold-pressed juices in the British market free of sugar. Kara decided to make her own juices and nut milks using mainly green vegetables from organic origin. Since then, Plenish has become one of the fastest growing plant-based milks brand in the UK, while its juice-led direct-to-consumer business continues to grow at over 100+%pa. The transaction is closely aligned with Britvic’s strategy of building a portfolio of soft-drinks brands for every consumer occasion and its focus on accessing new spaces in the soft drinks category. Britvic has a long track record of successfully leveraging its scale and capabilities to grow its brands, and it will draw on this experience to fulfil the full potential of Plenish.

"Britvic recognises the opportunity presented by the fast-growing plant-based drinks segment, with plant-based milks set to achieve retail sales values of over £500 million by 2024. The non-soya plant-based milks market has grown more than tenfold over the past decade and it is fast becoming a mainstream category, with consumers favouring healthier, plant-based products over dairy.


"The transaction also serves to strengthen Britvic's Healthier People, Healthier Planet sustainability agenda. The group is committed to ensuring its products help consumers enjoy life’s everyday moments, as part of a healthy, balanced lifestyle. Healthy nutrition is at the core of Plenish’s brand with a range of products containing the highest quality natural ingredients with low calories, that are certified organic by the Soil Association. As an accredited B-Corporation and a certified carbon negative business, Plenish's approach to environment will contribute positively to Britvic's Healthier Planet commitments."

In a statement published on Britvic's website, Britvic CEO Simon Litherland said, "Plenish is a fantastic addition to Britvic's stable of market-leading products, and I am delighted to welcome them to our business. In only a short time, Plenish has built a hugely impressive brand offering a fantastic range of products that cater to the growing demand for healthy and nutritious juices and plant-based milks. At Britvic, we have a long history of building successful brands and we see tremendous potential in Plenish that we look forward to realising in the years ahead."

In a statement published on Britvic's website, Plenish founder Kara Rosen said, "I started Plenish nine years ago in my kitchen to help make it easy and delicious for people to improve their health and make a positive impact for the planet. Our plant-based drinks are still made like I originally made them at home, with best in class ingredients sourced from sustainable, organic farms and no additives. I'm so excited for Plenish to join forces with Britvic, who I've long admired as a brilliant builder of brands and shares similar values, particularly around healthier people and planet. Together, we can reach more people in more places with products and programmes that help you feel good, made in a way that you can feel good about."

Results For Six Month Period That Ended On March 31

Britvic has also released its results for the six month period that ended on March 31, 2021, revealing that its revenue decreased by 6.3% to £617.1 million during the period (reported -11.7%).

Additionally, the results reveal that during the period Britvic's adjusted EBIT decreased by 15.4% to £60.1 million (reported -20.6%), statutory EBIT declined 16.7%; adjusted EBIT margin decreased 110bps to 9.7% (reported -110bps); profit after tax decreased by 14.7% to £33.2 million; adjusted earnings per share decreased by 20.0% to 15.2p, basic EPS declined 15.6% to 12.4p; the company disciplined cash management with adjusted net debt £94.3 million being lower year-on-year and adjusted net debt / EBITDA leverage ratio peaking at 2.8x; and Britvic reinstated its interim dividend with a dividend of 6.5p.


Britvic stated on its website that it has experienced "encouraging trading in the first weeks of H2 as lockdown measures begin to ease in the UK", that it will "ramp up" its investment "in H2 to capitalise on near-term market opportunities and drive long-term growth", and that "going forward, [it anticipates a] positive mix impact as at-home growth moderates, socialising increases and on-the-go consumption regains momentum".

In a statement published on Britvic's website, Litherland said, "In challenging circumstances, we have delivered a robust first half performance, demonstrating the resilience and agility of our business. We have continued to win in the channels open to us and have gained share in our key growth markets of GB and Brazil. Our cash management has been particularly strong, and I am pleased to reinstate our interim dividend.

"We have also made good progress on our strategic opportunities, such as simplifying our Irish business, entering the mainstream energy category in GB and Ireland by relaunching Rockstar with PepsiCo, and acquiring Plenish, a leading natural premium brand in the fast growing plant based drinks category.

"In the second half, we plan to rebuild investment behind our brands to ensure we emerge strongly and are best positioned for the recovery as it evolves. As lockdown restrictions have started to ease in some of our markets, early trading has been encouraging. Although some uncertainty does remain, I am confident that our strategy and focus on people, planet and performance will ensure we deliver growth for all our stakeholders, both in the short and long term."

Ballygowan Bottles To Move To 100% Recycled Plastic

In addition to the above news, Britvic has revealed that Ballygowan Mineral Water is moving to 100% recycled plastic bottles following a €2 million investment in operations at Ballygowan's Newcastle West source in Limerick.


Britvic stated on its website, "The move is a significant part of Britvic's Healthier People, Healthier Planet sustainability strategy, which will see all GB-made bottles including Robinsons, Fruit Shoot and Tango also switch to 100% rPET by the end of 2022.

"The change sets Ballygowan on its way to becoming Ireland’s most sustainable water brand and will see the removal of 51 million virgin PET bottles from the economy, the equivalent of 1,288 tonnes of plastic. Later this year, Ballygowan will remove a further 245 tonnes of plastic through packaging redesign. When recycled correctly, these new 100% rPET bottles can be reused continuously, becoming a key contributor to the circular economy, and resulting in a positive impact on the planet."

In a statement published on Britvic's website, Britvic Ireland managing director Kevin Donnelly said, "By its nature, Ballygowan has always been attuned to the importance of our environment. The purity of our water depends on a natural filtration that is embedded in the earth. By investing in a fully recycled bottling system, we are taking a major step to reduce our impact on the planet. This is the latest innovation in a journey which has already seen a reduction of over 90% in our manufacturing emissions for Ballygowan."

In a statement published on Britvic’s website, head of people and planet for Britvic Ireland Sian Young said, "At Britvic we are on the path to a more sustainable future and are excited to take this next step on the journey with our consumers by offering 100% recycled Ballygowan bottles and asking they recycle them after use. A small change that delivers big impact while also enjoying what I believe is one of Ireland’s best natural assets - locally sourced natural mineral water."

Britvic added on its website, "Ballygowan's move is the latest brand to make the switch, following Fruit Shoot Hydro's move to rPET bottles in September 2020. Britvic is committed to helping create a more sustainable future and believes that packaging should never become waste. In 2019, Britvic provided a £5 million investment support package to Esterform Packaging Ltd, allowing them to build an rPET manufacturing facility in North Yorkshire. This long-term supply of rPET will be crucial to Britvic delivering its 2022 goal."

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