No sugar Irn-Bru helps Barr revenue hit £257m

Shares of Cumbernauld-based soft drinks maker A.G. Barr rose about 3% after it said its revenue for the 52 weeks ended January 28 is expected to be around £257 million, helped by its new no sugar drink Irn-Bru XTRA.

In a trading update, Barr said second half trading performance strengthened, “supported by successful product innovation, specifically through the launch of Irn-Bru XTRA and Rubicon Spring.”

Barr shares rose to around 514p, giving it a current stock market value of roughly £590 million.

Barr’s brands include Irn-Bru, Rubicon, Strathmore and Funkin.

Barr said the UK soft drinks market had remained highly competitive, with the latest data for the 48 weeks to January 1 showing value up 1% and volume up 1.5%.

On a like for like basis, Barr’s revenue growth from ongoing business was anticipated to be 1.5%. 

“We have maintained tight control of our costs and, in the final quarter, successfully implemented a company-wide re-organisation that has both enhanced our organisational capability and reduced our overhead base,” said Barr.

“The operating margin for the financial year remains in line with our expectations.

“Our balance sheet is robust, supported by strong free cash flow. 

“We continue to develop the business for the long term and are pleased to announce plans to invest £10 million in PET capability at our Milton Keynes facility, building on our already well-invested asset base to further improve efficiency and flexibility.

“We believe that the combination of strong trading execution, successful innovation and tight cost control will enable us to meet our profit expectation for the year ended 28 January 2017.”