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Last Updated: Thursday, 2 March 2006, 16:56 GMT
Britvic shares plunge on warning
Cans of Pepsi
Britvic produces Pepsi, and other drinks, for the UK market
Shares in drinks company Britvic have tumbled after it warned that profits were suffering as consumers turn to healthier, lower sugar beverages.

The maker of Pepsi, Robinsons and Tango drinks in the UK said that the market was very difficult and challenging.

"The decline we have seen this year in January and February has been more severe than anything we have seen in the past," Britvic said.

By the close of trade, its shares had fallen 63.5 pence, or 23%, to 210.5p.

'Better for you'

The decline is its biggest since Britvic shares were listed on the London Stock Exchange in December.

Britvic said that it now expected profits to come in at the lower end of market targets.

"The consumer trend towards 'better for you' is accelerating and as a consequence sales in the carbonates category, except with those with no sugar, have slowed," the company said.

In an effort to keep consumers sipping their products, Britvic has been turning to new products such as its Pennine Spring carbonated water drink.

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