Irn-Bru Firm Barr expects revenue up 17% to £267m

A.G. Barr, the Cumbernauld-based maker of Irn-Bru, Rubicon energy drinks and Funkin cocktail mixers, said on Tuesday its revenue for the 53-week financial year to January 30, 2022, is expected to rise 17.5% to £267 million.

In a trading update, Barr said this is marginally ahead of the revised guidance issued in November 2021 and exceeds the pre-pandemic revenue performance in 2019-20 of £255.7 million.

“This strong trading performance was achieved despite the unexpected and increased UK Government restrictions related to the Omicron Covid variant, and further emphasises the quality and resilience of our brands, business model and people,” said Barr.

“While Government restrictions have impacted consumer behaviour across the year, both our Barr Soft Drinks and Funkin business units have traded well, particularly during the periods when restrictions were eased.

“The inflationary pressures highlighted in our November 2021 update have materialised as expected, particularly across packaging and energy linked commodities.

“We have initiated several cost control actions to reduce the impact of these rising costs and have adjusted our pricing with customers where appropriate.

“With the published rate of inflation in the UK now above 5%, the highest level for 20 years, we will continue to seek opportunities across the coming year to offset the impact on our business.

“Operating margin before exceptional items for the financial year is expected to be around 15.6% (2020/21: 14.8%), delivering profit before tax and exceptional items marginally ahead of our November 2021 guidance.

“Our business has remained strongly cash generative throughout the year and we expect to end the financial year with c.£66m of net cash following the completion of our previously announced equity investment in MOMA Foods Limited.”

A.G. Barr CEO Roger White said: “We are delighted with both the resilience our business has demonstrated and the growth we have delivered.

“We have remained fully operational throughout the year, producing high quality products and providing strong business support to all of our customers.

“We have delivered an excellent financial performance against a volatile backdrop, whilst at the same time delivering on our strategic priorities, with particularly encouraging progress made across our No Time To Waste environmental sustainability programme.

“We plan to further invest in our business in 2022/23 and remain confident in our ability to deliver continued growth in both revenue and profit in the coming year.”