AG Barr sales hold up despite poor summer

IRN-BRU maker AG Barr said yesterday its sales had narrowly risen in the first half.

Profits were flat at £16.2m on sales up four per cent at £124m, following the coldest and wettest summer for 18 years.

However, the company branded the performance “resilient”.

Chief executive Roger White said: “This is a particularly positive result given the weather as well as heavy soft drink discounting across the industry.”

He said the group’s key brands – including Irn-Bru, Strathmore and Rubicon – had increased sales by six per cent and gained extra market share.

AG Barr is planning to open its first plant in the south of England. Details are still under wraps, but White said that the plant would provide a considerable increase to the group’s canned and plastic bottled drinks capacity.

He said less plastic would be used in the bottles, which would offset some of the increases in the prices of materials.

The firm’s first-half dividend was raised by eight per cent to 7.3p a share.

The company’s shares rose by around two per cent after the results were reported. Its shares, which plunged to just over £10 in July after supply chain problems, closed at £12.10.