Irn-Bru maker's profits fizzle out

Irn-Bru maker AG Barr said today its sales had fallen flat amid a competitive and volatile market.

The Cumbernauld-based firm posted a 1.1% fall in sales for the 15 weeks to May 9 as it also came up against tough comparisons from a year earlier, when it sponsored the Glasgow Commonwealth Games.

Irn-Bru maker's profits fizzle out

But the business, which also makes Tizer and Rubicon, said sales in the wider soft drinks market lifted 0.7% in the same period.

It said its recent trading represented a return to a more normal sales period, although the group added it planned a strong summer branding programme and expected to see sales grow in the second half of the year.

The firm said it expected to meet its full-year targets, but warned although the UK economy was more positive, the retail market continued to experience challenging conditions. Shares slipped 2%.

N+1 Singer analyst Sahill Shan said the most disappointing aspect of the update was the “uncharacteristic underperformance” against the wider soft drinks market.

Mr Shan added: “We expect trading conditions to remain challenging for the remainder of the year as supermarket and retail price deflation is unlikely to abate in the near-term.”

N+1 Singer expects full-year profits at AG Barr to lift 5.3% to £44.1 million.

Barr said its current sales figures exclude its offloaded Orangina and Findlays water coolers drinks brands, but did include a £3 million revenue contribution from its recently acquired Funkin cocktail drinks business.

In February, Irn Bru bought the London-based cocktail business Funkin for up to £21 million. It said the purchase took the group into the cocktail mixer market for the first time, which has shown strong growth in recent years.

The Scottish firm added it would continue to extend its reach into the south of England by developing its new factory in Milton Keynes, opened in 2013.

It said it would extend the site’s warehousing capacity, and will buy more land next to the plant at a cost of £11 million.

More in this Section

Dublin Airport celebrates 80 years with reflection and expansionDublin Airport celebrates 80 years with reflection and expansion

Netflix chief confirms interest in deal with Harry and MeghanNetflix chief confirms interest in deal with Harry and Meghan

Sajid Javid issues post-Brexit warning to business leadersSajid Javid issues post-Brexit warning to business leaders

Markets jump despite fresh US-China concernsMarkets jump despite fresh US-China concerns


Lifestyle

Flexibility naturally declines with age but there’s a lot you can to stay supple through the decades, says Peta Bee.At full stretch: How to stay flexible through the years

Simon Prim is owner of Simon Prim Book Shop, Main Street, Kinsale, Co Cork, which sells second-hand books.‘Kinsale is a welcoming town, and everyone is encouraging’

The Everyman hosts Ronan FitzGibbon’s play about singsongs along the Blackwater, writes Marjorie BrennanA river runs through it: Everyman to play to host to Blackwater Babble

WHEN I think about the kind of child I was, I would say that I was the exact same kind of person that I am as an adult. I have always been fascinated by things that I don’t quite yet understand. I recognise that I hardly understand anything and that most of the world is and always has been so beautifully complex to me.School Daze: Chris Hadfield - I realised at a young age that teachers were fallible

More From The Irish Examiner