THE soft drinks firm behind Vimto and Sunkist put some fizz into its shares after lifting sales and profits.
St Helens-based Nichols, which also makes Panda and Cabana, said its brands outperformed the soft drinks market in the UK with sales growth of 18% in 2011.
The group also maintained margins despite raw material cost rises and an “exceptionally high” level of promotions.
Nichols, which sells Vimto in 65 countries, said profits will be significantly ahead of last year and current market expectations.
Shares jumped more than 6% following the update.
The news prompted Panmure Gordon stockbrokers to increased its target for profits this year by 6% to £19.2m. It expects a haul of £17.4m in the 2011 results.