Barr H1 revenue +8% to £136.6m, but profit slips

Cumbernauld-based Irn-Bru maker A.G. Barr said its revenue grew 8.8% to £136.6 million in the six months ended July 29, but profit before tax slid to £19.4 million from £21.1 million for the same period last year.

Barr’s brands also include Rubicon, Strathmore and Funkin.

Barr said increased brand investment, along with “the recognised sector cost pressures related to the ongoing weakness of sterling” led to a moderate reduction in margins during the period.

Barr said it is making good progress with its sugar reduction and reformulation programme and that it is confident it will meet its target of 90% of company-owned brands containing less than 5g of total sugars per 100ml by the end of the financial year (January 2018).

“A number of reformulated products have already successfully entered the market and, as we complete the programme across the next six months, we will ensure we have the appropriate plans and resources in place to deliver a smooth transition across our total supply chain and customer base,” said Barr.

A.G. Barr CEO Roger White said: “The strong sales momentum of the second half of last year has continued and has combined with significant progress from our innovation to deliver strong sales growth and market share gains in the period.

“While we maintain tight cost control across the business, we have increased investment in the support of our brands and innovation launches and expect to continue this across the full year. 

“Our reformulation activities remain on track as we move into the final implementation stages of this initiative in what will be a busy second half.

“Although the soft drinks market has been impacted negatively in the short term by the mixed weather since late July, assuming market conditions across the balance of the year are reasonable, the company remains on course to meet the board’s expectations for the full year.”