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Fever-Tree says sales growth still bubbly as it acquires German distributor

The outlook is a bit cloudy as the company does not know how consumers will react to the easing of lockdown restrictions

Fevertree Drinks -

Fever-Tree Drinks PLC (LON:FEVR) issued a trading statement on Tuesday that was, to coin a phrase, mixed.

In the UK, Fever-Tree's off-trade sales for the 12 weeks to June 14 were up 34% year-on-year (yoy).

The big push in the USA continues, with the brand becoming increasingly better known. Market research data from Nielsen, which covers just under half of Fever-Tree’s off-trade sales stateside, reported yoy sales increases of 89%.

The story has been a bit different in Continental Europe, especially in the south, where on-trade (i.e. bars and restaurants) purchases are more significant.

Fever-Tree said off-trade sales in Continental Europe have nevertheless been robust although it admitted that some importers have been destocking.

In the rest of the world, the company said it continues to deliver strong off-trade sales and to secure new distribution, particularly in Australia and Canada, while its focus will increasingly turn to the on-trade as outlets begin to reopen as lockdown restrictions ease.

“The on-trade is gradually re-opening across many of our regions, although the easing of restrictions and the extent to which outlets are re-opening has varied, with ongoing short-term uncertainty. While the off-trade continues to see good momentum in many regions, we expect some of the off-trade demand to switch to the on-trade as it begins to re-open; however, the pace and quantum at which this will occur is likely to be gradual as the on-trade still has to contend with cautious consumers, social distancing and therefore lower capacities,” the company said.

The fizzy drinks maker reiterated previously issued cautious comments about facing gross margin headwinds in the current financial year.

Meanwhile, it has bought up its sales agent in German, Global Drinks Partnership (GDP), for around €9.5mln.

"The completion of the GDP acquisition is an important step as we execute our growth plans in Germany, providing us with an ideal platform to take advantage of the opportunity within the German market and accelerate our growth,” said Tim Warrillow, the chief executive officer of Fever-Tree.

Quick facts: Fevertree Drinks

Price: 2207.5475 GBX

AIM:FEVR
Market: AIM
Market Cap: £2.57 billion
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