Scotland business

Irn Bru maker AG Barr 'outperforming drinks market'

Irn Bru cans
Image caption AG Barr is an official supporter of the Glasgow 2014 Games

Irn Bru maker AG Barr has said it is on track to outperform Britain's overall soft drinks market, with a 5.6% rise in first-half revenue.

The Cumbernauld-based firm, which is one of the sponsors of the Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games, is expecting sales of £135m in the six months to 27 July.

In a trading update, Barr warned the soft drinks market would continue to be highly competitive in the second half.

But the firm added that it remained confident over its full-year targets.

Barr's brands include Irn Bru, Rockstar, Strathmore water, Rubicon and Tizer.

Its update on Friday said: "Our growth continues to be well ahead of the total soft drinks market performance that, as measured by [market research company] Nielsen for the period 26 January 2014 to 12 July 2014, saw value increase by 1.6%, whilst volume declined by 0.3%.

"Our growth is well balanced across our core brands, all of which have responded positively to increased marketing activities, in the current period."

'Intense competition'

It added: "Promotional price competition in the soft drinks market remains intense however, despite investing in increased promotional activity and our incremental marketing investments, our margins remain in line with management's expectations."

In May AG Barr announced the closure of its packaging site in Tredegar, Wales, as well as a £4m investment programme to transfer operations to Milton Keynes.

Project plans are now under way and the Tredegar site will close in early 2015.

Barr added that it was making progress in the recruitment of a new finance director.

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