Britain’s love affair with gin drove up sales of Fevertree’s high-end tonic water boosting its market value to more than £4.2billion.
As it said it would comfortably beat its full-year expectations, shares bubbled up by 5.6 per cent, or 195p, to end the day at 3650p.
Investors who have been with Fevertree since the drinks company hit the public markets in 2014 have raked in the returns.
Anyone who bought £1,000 worth of shares when the company floated for 134p is now sitting on stock worth more than £27,000, as the share price has rocketed more than 2600 per cent.
Fizzing: Investors who have been with Fevertree since the drinks company hit the public markets in 2014 have raked in the returns
And that’s without the dividends. When factoring those payments in, including yesterday’s interim dividend of 4.22p, the same investor will have received an extra £184.
Fevertree said that a 73 per cent sales boom in the UK helped total sales for the six months to June 30 jump by 45 per cent to £104.2million, with profits rising 35 per cent to £34million.
Britons spent £461million on gin in 2017, up by 32.5 per cent on the previous year, according to the Office for National Statistics.
As well as cashing in on this resurgence, Fevertree has been expanding abroad and has launched low-calorie versions of its tonics along with new mixers for other spirits.
Stock Watch – Avacta
Biotechnology company Avacta soared 35.1 per cent, or 10p, to 38.5p as it announced a major partnership with Bach Biosciences to commercialise its new cancer treatment.
Avacta and US medical school Tufts have invented a new class of bio-pharmaceutical drug to target cancer, which they have jointly filed for patent protection.
Avacta has exclusive rights to commercialise the drugs class, and has received ‘significant interest’ from several large pharma companies.
Russ Mould, investment director at AJ Bell, said: ‘Fevertree is a true British success story, showing how it is possible to take a seemingly commoditised product, introduce a higher quality version and shake up a market where the previous leader Schweppes had its eye off the ball and didn’t have sufficient barriers to block new competition.’
Fevertree is almost large enough to join the FTSE 100, but is still listed on London’s junior market AIM.
Its soft drinks peer, Britvic, languishes with a comparatively meagre market value of £2.2billion.
The FTSE 100 rose 0.7 per cent, or 53.26 points, to 7709.05, boosted by the miners which were lifted by China’s new commitment to stimulate economic growth.
Massive returns were not on the table at housing and social care provider Mears Group, but investors were satisfied as it partly fended off a bid to oust its chairman.
German investor Shareholder Value Management (SVM) had been trying to push for the removal of Bob Holt, saying he had been at the company for too long and was forcing the board into making poor decisions.
Instead, it wanted Andy Hogarth – former boss of Staffline – to chair the company, and launched a requisition to put the matter to a vote. Mears took offence at the intrusion, and said SVM could not impose its own candidate.
But yesterday, it appeared SVM had won – Mears agreed it would run a ‘process’ to find a replacement for Holt by October, and Hogarth would be on the list. Shares in Mears rose 2.5 per cent, or 8p, to 330p.
Energy company Drax disappointed its shareholders, despite announcing an improved dividend, as it reported significantly reduced earnings of £102million in the first half of the year, down from £121million.
It blamed the poor performance on two unplanned outages at its power generation units, as shares fell 4.9 per cent, or 17.4p, to 340.8p.
In a surprise announcement after the market closed, Metro Bank released its results a day earlier than planned.
It said that underlying profit was up fourfold to £24.1million, and revealed that it was placing up to 8.85m new shares for 3422p each to help fund its growth. Metro’s shares ended yesterday up 2.1 per cent, or 70p, at 3422p.