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Barr on target to cut sugar

Irn-Bru sales rise on new product launches

Irn-Bru maker AG Barr said new product launches had contributed to strong sales in the first half and that it was on target to cut its sugar content.

Revenue for the 26 weeks ended 29 July is expected to be £136 million, an increase of 8% on the same period last year (2016: £125.6m).

“This strong sales performance was delivered against a market backdrop that saw value increase by 3.5% and volume by 2.1%,” the company said in a trading update.

“In the first half we increased our investment in support of our innovation and brand growth activity.  This, combined with slightly later than anticipated phasing of price increases and generally higher operating costs, including the effect of weaker sterling on input costs, had a moderate impact on margins during the period.”

The company said it is making “good progress” with its sugar reduction programme and is confident of meeting its target.

” We expect this programme to be completed by the end of the financial year (January 2018) as the reformulated products are phased in across the next six months,” it said. 

“While the wider economic environment continues to be uncertain, we have a clear strategy and a strong commercial plan in place, and we remain confident that we will deliver a full year financial performance in line with the Board’s expectations.”

Roger White, chief executive, said: “We have delivered a good first half with strong sales growth supported by our successful innovation programme, particularly Irn-Bru Xtra, which has now been launched in England and Wales, and Rubicon Spring, which is gaining distribution across multiple channels.

“We are well positioned to deliver against our expectations across the balance of the year.”

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