Delivery change

AG Barr cuts 195 jobs in distribution shake-up

Irn-Bru: changing delivery model

Irn-Bru manufacturer AG Barr is cutting 195 jobs and closing a number of facilities following a comprehensive review of Barr Soft Drinks’ sales and distribution operations.

The changes will see the current direct-to-store delivery model, supported by telesales, move to an enlarged and enhanced field sales operation. This will see 160 jobs cut, while a number of field sales roles will be created to support the new route to market. 

Subject to consultation the proposals could result in the closure of direct operations at Moston, Wednesbury and Dagenham and could be completed by end of June.

The Boost drinks office in Leeds will also close. Boost was acquired in December 2022 and the Cumbernauld-based group aims to fully integrate the business into Barr Soft Drinks to cut duplicated activities. It will mean the loss of 35 jobs.

In a statement to the stock market on Thursday afternoon, the company said it will begin consultations with staff and will do everything possible to support those affected throughout the process.

Shares in AG Barr closed the day 12p (2.28%) higher at 539p.

Danni Hewson, head of financial analysis at AJ Bell said: “Shares in Irn-Bru maker AG Barr ended the day on the front foot after the company announced cost cutting measures that seemed to strike a chord with investors.

“Streamlining the business makes sense, but it comes with a price. Almost two hundred jobs are set to go as the drinks maker looks to close several sites and integrate 2022 acquisition Boost Drinks more neatly into the organisation.

“The business has been able to pass on increased prices to consumers, lifting profits above expectations. But it’s a competitive market and what worked in the past might not be fit for the future as its direct to store model is facing the chop.”

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