It has been announced that drinks maker Britvic, the brand portfolio of which includes Ballygowan and MiWadi, will close its Irish licensed wholesale business, Counterpoint.
As reported by drinksindustryireland.ie, proposals have been put forth to Counterpoint's 44 employees that will see the licensed wholesale business close its Irish operation.
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Last year, Britvic decided to evolve its business strategy, which involved simplifying its operations in Ireland and becoming more focussed in the country in a bid to position the company for growth.
Britvic said that its margins in licensed wholesaling have tightened while the on-trade has contracted in recent years, and these trends have been exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic.
The drinks maker stated that the closure of its only licensed wholesale business means that, going forward, it will manufacture and market its soft drink products via wholesale partnerships with other wholesalers in a bid to protect and grow its share of the soft drinks channel.
Britvic also said that the closure of Counterpoint will allow Britvic Ireland to focus on its core competence as a soft drinks brand owner where it has a portfolio of market-leading brands.
Fully Committed To The Irish Market
The drinks maker added that it is fully committed to the Irish market through the 400 employees that it still has in Ireland through all of its channels, that it believes that the move will better focus its business in Ireland, and that narrow licensed wholesaling margins have gotten even narrower during the past several years, so the closure of Counterpoint will allow Britvic to exit alcohol wholesaling, which is margin dilutive.
Drinksindustryireland.ie quotes Britvic Ireland managing director Kevin Donnelly as saying, "We remain fully committed to and deeply rooted in Ireland, with a portfolio of market-leading brands and a strong manufacturing base on the island. We look forward to working closely with our partners in the channel and see opportunities for mutual growth when the hospitality sector reopens. We deeply regret any reduction in employment across our business. We recognise that this will be extremely difficult for our people who have served the company well over the years. We will do all we can to continue to support impacted employees."
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