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Britain to levy sugar tax on soft drinks industry

LONDON, March 16 (Reuters) - Britain will introduce a sugar levy on soft drinks in two years' time, finance minister George Osborne said in a surprise announcement in his annual budget on Wednesday.

Osborne said the levy, which would be imposed on companies and based on drinks' sugar content, would raise 520 million pounds.

Shares in drinks and sugar groups fell on the news, with Britvic and AG Barr, which makes Irn Bru, down between 3 percent and 5 percent. Sugar group Tate & Lyle was down 2 percent.

(Reporting by Michael Holden; editing by Stephen Addison)