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Fever-Tree fizzes as it upgrades full-year expectations once more

This morning’s share price gains means Fever-Tree is now a £2bn+ company
Fevertree tonic water
Shares in Fever-Tree have added more than 50% so far this year

The seemingly never-ending conveyor belt of Fevertree Drinks PLC (LON:FEVR) guidance upgrades continued today after the tonic maker told investors full-year results would be “comfortably” ahead of expectations.

London-based Fever-Tree said it had achieved “strong sales” so far in the year-to-date, although that was about as specific as it got.

Since it first listed on AIM back in 2014, every spring trading update has included a bullish statement on full-year earnings.

Chairman Bill Ronald will tell today’s AGM: “2016 was another exceptional year for Fever-Tree which saw the Group continue to gain market share in both the on and off trade across all our markets.

“Fever-Tree remains the pioneer and market leader of the premium mixer category and the momentum seen in 2016 has continued in the first four months of 2017.”

No update on US performance

Fever-Tree has worked hard to build its market share in the UK and has enjoyed stonking growth in its home market over the past few years.

Sales in the UK, which is also its largest individual market at the moment, more than doubled in 2016 following on from a similar rate of growth a year earlier.

Although more can always be done in the UK and Ireland, the big opportunity for Fever-Tree is now seen across the pond and performance in the US will be a key factor for investors this year.

The dark liquor market – which is what more Americans drink than, say, gin – is big business in the States and is worth several times the annual value of the UK clear spirits market.

With the size of that opportunity in mind, Fever-Tree has recently launched a couple of new variations of its ginger ale in the country, which go well with rum and whiskey.

It’s got deals with the likes of Target Corp (NYSE:TGT) to sell its products, while there are rumours that more big names in the supermarket world might come on board as well in the near future.

Shares just won't go flat

There were fears that the incredible growth Fever-Tree has achieved in the past few years was coming to an end when it published its 2016 preliminary results earlier this year.

Shares dived more than 7% on the morning of the release, with the company's "encouraging" start to 2017 seemingly not as bullish as some investors had hoped.

The share price did rally later on that day though and they've kicked on even more since, with shares closing at all-time weekly highs in each of the last few weeks.

Shares in the tonic maker gained more than 1.5% in early deals on Monday to trade at £17.32.

--Updates for additional info and share price--

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