British soft drinks maker Britvic reported higher than expected full-year profit and said it was positive on the year ahead despite continued tough economic conditions.

Britain's second biggest soft drinks maker behind Coca-Cola Enterprises on Wednesday posted an underlying profit before tax of 105.1 million pounds for the year to Oct 2., 0.5 percent up on the previous year.

According to Thomson Reuters data the consensus full-year pretax profit forecast was 101.3 million pounds.

The political, financial and social environment in which we operate will remain challenging, but we are confident in our ability to compete strongly and to deliver another solid set of results for the year ahead, in line with our expectations, Britvic chief executive Paul Moody said in a statement.

The company, which has businesses in the UK, France, Ireland and northern Europe, said it had made three significant agreements, including one with Pepsi Beverage Company (PBV), a unit of drinks giant PepsiCo
, to widen distribution of its Fruit Shoot brand to six U.S. states.

The announcement us material additional territories, new distribution partners and, significantly, an agreement with PBV to begin production in the U.S.; important steps towards realising our ambitions for Fruit Shoot, Moody said.

Total revenue for the company, whose brands include Robinsons, Tango, Drench, J2O and Fruit Shoot, rose 15.1 percent to 1.290 billion pounds for the year.

Britvic raised its full-year dividend by 6 percent to 17.7 pence and predicted its pension funding partnership would be in place by end of 2011.

Shares in Britvic, which have risen 14 percent in the last three months, closed at 336.4 pence on Tuesday, valuing the company at around 812 million pounds.