Fever-Tree ended its spectacular 2017 by becoming the number one mixer brand by value, pushing it ahead of rival Schweppes.

The premium tonic and mixer producer said its full-year results are expected to exceed market forecasts, driven by strong sales in the UK, particularly over the Christmas period.

The company upgraded its full-year forecasts in November but said it had an “exceptional” Christmas period, which means its overall full-year revenue is expected to be around £169million, reflecting growth of 66% on 2016, with sales in the second half expected to be ahead of 2016 by 58%.

Fever-Tree said the UK market was again the star performer last year, with sales doubling over the year, driven by the popularity of craft and premium gins. The brand has now overtaken Schweppes to become the number one mixer brand by value in the UK off-trade, according to IRI data (13 weeks to 31/12/17).

Tim Warrillow, co-founder and ceo, said: “I am very proud of our performance in 2017, which has seen Fever-Tree end the year as the number one mixer brand at UK retail. Our pioneering approach and commitment to providing consumers with the highest quality range of mixers continues to capture peoples’ imagination and is transforming the wider UK mixer category which as a result is now the fastest growing category across the soft drinks sector.

“While we have seen strong growth across all regions, our performance in the UK over the Christmas period was once again exceptional. Our growing range of mixers and formats are appealing not only to our loyal customers but also bringing consumers back to the category and importantly attracting a new younger audience.”

The Board expects that the outcome for the full year will be “comfortably ahead” of expectations. Fever-Tree will announce its preliminary results on 13 March 2018.