Taste for the exotic boosts Barr’s profits

EXOTIC JUICES BUMP UP AG BARR'S PROFITS

SOFT drinks maker AG Barr saw revenues jump 6.6 per cent to £237m last year, buoyed by strong growth in its exotic juice range.

The Cumbernauld, Scotland-based company said pre-tax profits were up 6.2 per cent to £33.6m, excluding exceptional items, led by high demand for Rubicon and KA juices.

The exotic drinks grew revenues 15.7 per cent – contributing to an overall 9.4 per cent boost in Barr’s still drinks division, compared to 3.8 per cent across the market.

Barr added that it was on track to launch a Rubicon ice cream and push-up ice lolly range this month.

Despite a slow start to the year “impacted by significant competitor promotional activity to which we chose not to respond”, sales of Irn Bru jumped seven per cent in the second half of 2011 as the limited edition Fiery Irn Bru sold over 3.5m units.

AG Barr confirmed that it plans to invest £20m in building a factory and warehouse in Milton Keynes, set to open in the summer of 2013.

The drinks company upped its full-year dividend 10 per cent to 27.95p.