Irn-Bru maker increases dividend as profits surge

IRN-BRU maker AG Barr yesterday posted a 21 per cent rise in pre-tax profit with sales also on the up.

The company recommended a final dividend of 16.85p, giving a total dividend of 23.1p, up ten per cent from last year.

For the 12 months to 30 January, pre-tax profit before exceptional items rose to £27.9m from £23.1m last year.

Revenue grew 18.7 per cent to £201.4m at the company which also makes St Clements and Tizer.
Like-for-like sales, excluding the impact of the firm’s acquisition of Wembley-based fruit juice company Rubicon and the 53rd week in 2008/09, increased by 10.6 per cent.

Overall sales of the 109-year old flagship brand Irn-Bru were up five per cent last year and a by 20 per cent in England and Wales.

However, between 65 per cent and 70 per cent of Irn-Bru sales are still in Scotland.

Rubicon, which sells strongly into the Asian communities in London and the southeast, helped boost exports by 31 per cent.

Debt, including extra borrowings to fund Rubicon, were reduced from £31.3m to £22.1m.