Nichols, the soft drinks and dispense system distributor, has announced underlying pre-tax profits up nearly 16 per cent.
The group, which markets and sells the Vimto soft drink brand as well as the Cabana & Beacon cold soft drinks dispense system, said that turnover from continuing operations for the 12 months to December 31 2006 was up 1.6 per cent at £52.3m.
Overall pre-tax profits were up 5.7 per cent at £7.4m, although once the disposal of Nichol's Balmoral hot drinks business was taken into account the underlying profit gain was 15.8 per cent.
Basic earnings per share rose 47.3 per cent to 15.94p.
John Nichols, chairman of the group, said: "Operationally, our core brand Vimto continued to grow its market share, despite a highly competitive soft drinks market, particularly in the UK, and Dispense Systems made good progress in underlying profits.
"With the group's reshaping complete [via the Balmoral disposal] we ended 2006 in excellent health, with a much stronger balance sheet, positive cash following the complete elimination of debt, and solid trading results."