AG Barr says trading is "subdued"

Irn-Bru suffers from post-Games lull and poor weather

Irn-Bru commonwealthIrn-Bru maker AG Barr says sales have been hit in the first half because of poor weather and difficulty matching last year’s promotional activity during the Commonwealth Games.

It has also suffered during a complex internal restructuring .

Half year sales revenue is expected to be about 5% lower at  around £128m on the previous year.  On an ongoing basis, allowing for the impact of the loss of the Orangina brand and the divested Findlays brand, sales declined by about 3.5%.

The firm also notes that deflation together with a price war in the soft drinks market has contributed to tougher market conditions.

In the six month period to date trading has “remained subdued as anticipated”, it said in a statement. “Despite these challenges our margins remain in line with management expectations.” 

“The last six months have been a very busy period at A.G. Barr with the closure of our Tredegar site, commissioning of carton packaging capability at Milton Keynes, the acquisition of Funkin and the go-live of our BPR project, however all of these actions will lay the foundations for further growth and operational improvement. 

“Our objective for the second half of the year is to bring improved operational stability and growth to the business and to begin to realise the benefits associated with the changes we have made. Our balance sheet remains strong and our capital investment plans are in line with management expectations.”

The company expects financial performance in the current financial year to be more weighted to the second half given its strong performance in the first half of last year, combined with the significant operational improvement programme currently being implemented.

“We expect trading across the market will remain competitive, however assuming there are no significant changes to the competitive or customer landscape and that we continue to make good progress on all our change initiatives, we plan to regain sales momentum which would enable us to meet our expectations for the full year. “

The company reports interim figures on 22 September.

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