Barr profit up to £43.1m amid low sugar rush

Shares of Cumbernauld-based Irn-Bru maker A.G. Barr rose after it said its statutory profit before tax increased 4.4% to £43.1 million on revenue down 0.6% to £257.1 million in the 52 weeks to January 28.

Barr said it would increase its dividend for the year 8% to 14.4p and it announced a share repurchase programme of up to £30 million.

Barr shares rose more than 2% to around 559p to give the firm a current stock market value of roughly £650 million, according to Bloomberg data.

The company is benefiting from a commitment it made that 90% of its brands — which include Irn-Bru, Rubicon, Strathmore and Funkin — will contain less than 5g of total sugars per 100ml by the autumn of 2017.

Barr CEO Roger White said: “We have made considerable progress across the business over the last 12 months and delivered a solid financial performance in volatile and uncertain market conditions.  

“As consumer tastes and preferences continue to change, our recent announcement that 90% of company owned brands will contain less than 5g of total sugars per 100ml by the autumn of 2017 is a positive demonstration of how the business is responding to consumers’ needs with both pace and commitment.  

“The UK consumer environment remains uncertain, however we are confident that our great brands, effective business model, clear strategy and strong team ensure we are well placed to realise the full potential of our business and to deliver consistent long-term shareholder value.”