AG Barr profits fizz as it moves further south

Kasmira Jefford
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AG BARR reported a near 10 per cent jump in full-year profits yesterday as the Irn-Bru-maker drew a line under its failed merger with Britvic and invested in new products and focused on growing its footprint further south of its Scottish heartland.

The drinks giant said profit before tax increased by 9.6 per cent to £38.1m in the year to 26 January while a strong performance from its fizzy drinks brands helped boost sales by 6.9 per cent to £254.1m.

Chief executive Roger White said despite fierce competition, carbonates such as Rock Star and Orangina grew by 8.2 per cent in volume, outperforming the market growth of 3.5 per cent.

Still drinks volumes grew by 2.7 per cent, behind the overall market, as it faced competition from new brands moving into the market.

AG Barr has come up with new innovations such as Irn Bru ice-cream and its own brand of coconut water and has also stepped up growth in the north east, Lancashire and Yorkshire regions to win over new customers.

Commenting on Scotland’s forthcoming referendum, White said: “We have never in 140 years got involved in politics and we are not going to start now. Any change, whether it be in Brussels, Holyrood or Westminster, has its risks. But at the moment it’s all politics and no policy. Once it becomes policy we will review [the risks].”

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