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Nichols, the maker of Vimto soft drinks, started the year with strong growth despite worries about rising inflation and the impact of a proposed tax on sugary drinks.

The Merseyside-based group said reported sales in the UK increased 3.4 per cent compared to the first quarter of 2016, compared to growth of 1.2 per cent in the wider soft drinks market.

The company said sales in Africa also “maintained the growth momentum” from last year, while it was a busy first quarter for sales to the Middle East as consumers stocked up on Vimto ahead of Ramadan.

The sugary drink has become a popular choice for Muslims fasting during the holy month, which this year begins at the end of May.

Nichols said it was “pleased” with its start to the year, and said it is on track to meet expectations despite warning that “the UK soft drinks market will remain challenging throughout 2017 with the addition of currency related input cost inflation to an already price competitive environment”.

Photo: Bloomberg

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