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Oct. 20, 2020, 2:34 a.m. EDT

Britvic cautions on 2021 outlook due to COVID-19

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By Ian Walker

Britvic PLC said Tuesday that adjusted profit for fiscal 2020 is expected to be slightly ahead of consensus forecasts after a better-than-expected peak summer period, but cautioned that the reintroduction of lockdown restrictions and continued social-distancing measures will hurt its performance next year.

The U.K. soft-drinks maker--which houses the Fruit Shoot, Robinsons, Tango and J2O brands among its portfolio--added that despite this the board is confident in its long-term prospects, and expects to rebuild investment in 2021.

The company hasn't provided any figures. However, a consensus estimate puts adjusted earnings before interest and tax at 155.3 million pounds ($201.1 million), taken from FactSet and based on four analysts' forecasts, compared with GBP214 million for the year ended Sept. 29, 2019.

Britvic said it expects to report net debt of GBP40 million to GBP50 million, reflecting a disciplined cash management.

In addition, Britvic said it has signed a new and exclusive 20-year franchise bottling deal with PepsiCo Inc. for the production, distribution marketing and sales of its carbonated soft drink brands--including Pepsi, 7UP and Mountain Dew--in Great Britain.

Write to Ian Walker at ian.walker@wsj.com

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