Nichols deal

J N NICHOLS (VIMTO), the soft drinks to contract packing group, has bought Balmoral Trading for a net pounds 5.81m in cash and shares from Richard Butcher. A further payment of pounds 1.2m may be made depending on profit at Balmoral, a supplier of hot drinks systems, in 2000 and 2001.

Nichols also announced that underlying pre-tax profits in 1998 had declined to pounds 9.55m in 1998 from pounds 10.52m a year earlier as poor summer weather had an adverse impact on the soft drinks industry. The group also incurred a one-off cost of pounds 1.4m when it moved its soft drinks operations to new premises.