- Beverages company Nichols said it expected its annual profit to be 'at least' in line with market expectations amid a boost in sales in the UK and Africa.

Sales for the year through December rose 6.9% on-year to £142.0m.

The company said the increase was driven by an 'excellent performance' at its UK business, where sales grew 13% to £114.6m.

'In summary, the board is very pleased with the 2018 group sales performance and expects full year profit to be ahead of the prior year and at least in line with current market expectations,' Nichols said.

The current company-complied market consensus for pre-tax profit was £31.3m.

At 3:00pm: [LON:NICL] Nichols PLC share price was +120p at 1560p

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