Irn-Bru Firm Barr draws down £60m credit facilities

Cumbernauld-based Irn-Bru maker A.G. Barr said on Monday it has drawn down its full £60 million revolving credit facilities amid the COVID-19 crisis.

Barr said in a stock exchange statement that it has complied with the UK Financial Conduct Authority’s request that listed companies observe a moratorium on the publication of preliminary financial statements. 

“Despite our state of readiness to report we will comply with the FCA’s request,” said Barr as it announced a delay to the publication of its full year financial results for the 52 weeks ended January 25, 2020.

On its financial stability, Barr said: “The company has a very strong financial base and our balance sheet remains strong, with net cash in the bank of £10.9m at the financial year end. 

“However as we look forward now, into what is an uncertain and challenging time, we have already taken a number of steps to further protect our long-term financial stability. 

“While we have a strong balance sheet, we felt it was prudent to draw down our full £60m revolving credit facilities as the COVID-19 situation evolved. 

“In addition, we have now frozen all new capital projects and are reviewing all existing projects, as well as scaling back immediate marketing and commercial activity where sensible across the group. 

“We are taking a prudent and vigilant approach to all working capital to minimise risk.

“We will continue to monitor developments closely and respond as appropriate. 

“We will provide a revised date for the communication of our full year financial results as and when we receive further guidance from the FCA and other regulatory authorities.”

On its operations, Barr said: “We have taken steps to ensure that our raw material availability and stockholding is as robust as possible and, as yet, have experienced no difficulties.

“However, in common with most food and drink manufacturers, we are reliant on a number of raw materials and packaging types which it is not possible to store on site for more than a few days. 

“This risk is mitigated as far as possible by good levels of finished goods stocks and to date we have maintained strong levels of service into our customer base. 

“We are taking action to ensure our factories are staffed sufficiently and that our production plans optimise the capacity available at each of our sites.

“From a demand perspective, while consumers are currently prioritising take-home purchases, and in some cases shopping more locally as a result of the Government’s containment measures, there are significant challenges for the hospitality sector which in total accounts for c.10% of our business. 

“We have multiple routes to market serviced by a combination of distribution partners and a company owned fleet of around 80 vehicles, all of which currently provide us with flexibility and continuity of service. 

“It is our aim to maintain supply into all customers for as long as there is demand in the market and as long as Government guidance permits.”