Vimto maker Nichols sees 2018 profit growth in low single-digits, shares plummet

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(Reuters) – Vimto soft drinks maker Nichols <NICL.L> said profit growth in 2018 would be in the low single-digits, as a slowdown in sales in the Middle East would drag performance, sending its shares down nearly 13 percent.

The company said sales in the Middle East — its key international business — would be hurt by the recent escalation of hostilities in Yemen which resulted in the supply route to its Yemeni customer being blockaded and some reported slowing in the Saudi economy.

Shares in the company were down 3.7 percent at 1529p at 0913 GMT.

The company, which sells drinks in the still and carbonated categories worth over 100 million pounds a year in over 85 countries, had warned that its home market would remain challenging this year, “with the addition of currency-related input cost inflation to an already price-competitive environment”

(Reporting by Rahul B in Bengaluru; Editing by Sunil Nair)

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