Britvic agrees £400m loan with discount for hitting ‘sustainability targets’

31 January 2020, 12:04

Bottles of Robinsons squash at Wimbledon
Tennis – 2014 Wimbledon Championships – Day Three – The All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club. Picture: PA

The Robinsons and J2O drinks maker said it would donate any savings to charity, though it has not revealed what the targets are.

The maker of Robinsons squash has signed an agreement with banks to pay back less money on its loans if it meets sustainability targets, cash which will then be donated to charity.

Britvic said it had refinanced a £400 million line of credit to cover day-to-day expenses with annual performance indicators that are linked to its sustainable business strategy.

The credit line will mature in 2025, the company said, and until then it will have annual targets to meet.

Reaching these will reduce the margin that Britvic has to pay back to lenders, a sum the business will pay to charities it has agreed with the banks.

“This financing agreement further strengthens both our funding platform and our commitment to healthier people and a healthier planet,” the company said in a statement.

It did not reveal the details of the targets.

Businesses have come under increased pressure to do more on the environment in recent years, prompting several to take action.

Britvic plans to reduce its carbon emissions across its manufacturing plants by 15% in 2020, compared with 2016 levels. It also wants 15% of its PET (polyethylene terephthalate) plastic to come from recycled or renewable materials.

The sustainability plans also include pledges on human health.

The announcement of Britvic’s new credit line came as the firm said that first-quarter revenue will rise by 4.9% to £369.8 million.

New accounting practices have added a few extra days to the quarter.

When stripping out the effect of these extra days, and of changing exchange rates, the firm’s revenue was up by 2.6%.

Chief executive Simon Litherland said: “I am pleased to report that we have delivered a robust start to the year.

“While we anticipate conditions will remain challenging, we are confident of achieving market expectations for the year, underpinned by the strength of our brand portfolio and exciting marketing and innovation plans.”

Shares rose 30p, or 3.4%, to 906p.

By Press Association

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