Barr shares fall 25% amid profit warning

Shares of Cumbernauld-based Irn-Bru maker A.G. Barr fell 25% on Tuesday after the firm said it expects profit to fall 20% this year amid disappointing spring and early summer weather and trading challenges in its Rockstar energy and Rubicon juice drinks.

In a trading update, Barr said “trading in the financial year to date has been below our expectations.”

Barr added: “This has been exacerbated by some specific brand challenges, particularly in Rockstar energy and Rubicon juice drinks, as well as disappointing spring and early summer weather, most notably in Scotland and the north of England, and compounded further as we approach the half year when the prior year comparative weather was at its peak.

“We have taken action to address the specific brand related issues, including the planned launch of three new Rockstar products at the end of the summer, and recipe improvement activity for Rubicon juice drinks, however the benefit of these actions will not be felt until later in the second half of the financial year.”

Barr said revenue for the 26 weeks to 27 July 2019 is estimated to be around £123 million, a 10% decline on the prior year.

“Despite our strong second half plan it is not expected that we will recover fully from the volume impact in the first five months of this year and the current trading we are experiencing,” added Barr.

“As a result, we expect our profit performance for the full year to decline versus the prior year by up to 20%.”

Barr CEO Roger White said: “While the Funkin business goes from strength to strength, it has been a challenging start to the year for Barr Soft Drinks. 

“Weather comparatives and trading, particularly in the impulse on-the-go market, have been even tougher than expected which, along with some brand specific challenges, have led to a short-term impact on our financial performance. 

“We are focused on returning to growth and will continue to take the actions we believe necessary to succeed in the dynamic environment within which we operate”.