Scotland business

Irn Bru maker AG Barr forecasts dip in revenues

Irn Bru cans Image copyright AG Barr

Soft drinks maker AG Barr has forecast a dip in first-half sales in the face of "challenging market conditions".

In a trading update, the Cumbernauld-based company said it anticipated revenue of £125m for the six months to 30 July - a year-on-year fall of 2.9%.

The Irn Bru maker said the UK soft drinks market had faced continued deflation and volume declines.

Poor weather in June and early July was also expected to "adversely impact" the overall market's performance.

Its statement read: "Consequently trading has been highly competitive but, despite this difficult market backdrop, we have maintained both value and volume overall market share.

"Consumer preferences have continued to develop and we have successfully advanced our response to these long term trends."

During the period, AG Barr also responded to a planned new sugar tax in the UK by announcing a new Irn Bru zero sugar variant called Irn Bru Xtra, and launching three new lower sugar products.

"Our new products are all showing encouraging early signs with both customers and consumers, and are positive additions to our broadening portfolio," it said.

'Economic uncertainty'

Barr added: "The decision of the United Kingdom to leave the European Union has resulted in a degree of economic uncertainty and a weakening of sterling.

"The impact of weaker sterling will not have a significant impact in 2016, but it is anticipated input costs will increase in 2017, providing management time to adjust plans accordingly.

"The balance of the summer will remain an important trading period, however assuming market conditions improve and our robust second half plans deliver, we expect to meet our profit expectations for the full year."

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