AG Barr revealed a boost to its profits in its most recent set of results today, alongside a plan for how it would offset government's newly proposed tax of sugary drinks.
The soft drinks manufacturer, known for brands such as Irn-Bru and Rubicon, announced profits before tax of £41.3m for its year ended 30 January 2016, up seven per cent compared with £38.6m the year before.
However, the company's net revenues dipped slightly to £258.6m, down one per cent from the prior year's £260.9m.
Commenting on the results, Roger White, chief executive of AG Barr, said:
Market conditions in the core UK soft drinks market are not expected to substantially change as we look forward. Top-line growth remains under pressure and changes in consumer preferences offer challenges and opportunities in equal measure. Although the details of the chancellor's proposed soft drinks levy are still to be consulted upon, we believe our combination of brand strength, ongoing product reformulation and consumer driven innovation will allow us to minimise the financial impact on the business at the proposed point of implementation in April 2018.
White went on to explain in his review that consumer preferences were shifting towards lower in sugar products anyway, so he expected that roughly two-thirds of the company's portfolio of brands would be below the threshold for the proposed tax by the time it was introduced.
The company also sweetened the deal for shareholders by proposing a final dividend of 9.97 pence per share, up from 9.01 pence per share the year before and bringing the total dividend for 2016 to 13.33 pence per share.