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Britvic Second-Half Revenue Falls 1.5% on Wet Summer

Britain's second largest soft drinks maker, Britvic, reported a 1.5 percent fall in second-half branded beverage sales Wednesday, blaming a wet summer for the slip.

Britvic, maker of drinks such as J2O and Robinsons Barley Water, said it remained confident its full-year profit would meet current market expectations.

Branded revenue in the six months to Sept. 30 fell 1.5 percent on the same period last year, with carbonated sales dropping 3.1 percent and non-carbonated drinks falling 0.3 percent, the company said in a trading statement.

"We have actively grown market share across our key categories, and our brands have performed very well, despite the poor summer weather which presented extremely difficult trading conditions for the soft drinks market," said Britvic Chief Executive Paul Moody.

Britvic shares rose 1.65 percent, or 5.25 points, to 323 pence ($6.56, euro4.63).

Moody said the company remained confident of at least delivering "our ambition of increasing operating profit margin by 10-15 basis points."

For the full year to Sept. 30 branded revenue grew 3.7 percent to 702.5 million pounds ($14.27 billion, 10 billion euros) compared with the same period last year, with still drinks showing a 3.9 percent rise and carbonated drinks up 3 percent.

Britvic has endured a tough time since it floated on the London Stock Exchange in 2005. It issued two profit warnings in 2006 and has been stalked in the past by private equity firm Permira, which holds a 14 percent stake in the business.