Further uplift in profits
AG Barr paid just £200k in sugar tax after drinks remix
40% of the Irn-Bru range is now sugar-free
Irn-Bru manufacturer AG Barr said it had reformulated 99% of its soft drinks so that they are exempt from the soft drinks industry levy (SDIL), or sugar tax.
Reducing sugar content meant the company paid a levy of just £200,000. Irn-Bru sugar free variants now account for 40% of the total Irn-Bru brand.
The Cumbernauld-based company, which also makes Rubicon, Strathmore and Funkin, reported profit before tax and exceptional items 2.5% higher at £45.2m (2018 : £44.1m) on a 5.6% rise in revenue to £279m (2018: £264.1m).
The board has proposed a final dividend of 12.74p per share (2018 : 11.84p) to give a total dividend for the year of 16.64p per share, an increase of 7% over the prior year.
Roger White, chief executive, said: “At the outset of 2018 we set out a clear strategy and specific actions which we believed were required to deliver continued financial success during what we forecast to be a year of significant changes across our industry.
“ I am pleased to report we have delivered another strong financial performance having adapted well to both the circumstances we anticipated and those which were less expected.
“It is with this backdrop in mind that I emphasise the flexibility and strength of our business model, people and brands, all of which continue to deliver consistently.
“We have grown revenue by 8% and 5.6% respectively over the past two years reflecting the growth potential of our business. Whilst the uncertainty across the UK economy is likely to prevail for the foreseeable future, we have consistently demonstrated over the long-term that our strategy and execution are fit for purpose and resilient. The markets in which we operate are robust and provide us with continued opportunities to grow.
“We have exciting plans to deliver across the Group and are confident of continuing to make further progress in the coming year.”