Scotland business

Sales fizz for Irn Bru maker AG Barr

Irn Bru cans Image copyright AG Barr
Image caption AG Barr is one of the sponsors of this summer's Glasgow Commonwealth Games

Marketing and promotional drives helped Irn Bru maker AG Barr record a strong start to its trading year.

The Cumbernauld-based firm reported total sales for the 15 weeks to 11 May were 5.2% up on a year ago.

Barr said it performed well ahead of a wider soft drinks market, which grew in value by 1.9% over the same period.

However it warned that the retail and consumer environment remained "volatile".

The company, which also makes Tizer and Rubicon, said its strategy of extending distribution was making progress.

Its strong trading performance comes after the group opened a new factory in Milton Keynes in 2013 in order to boost sales in the South East.

The firm said its rise in revenue "has been underpinned by a strong volume performance across all of our core brands" and that margins were in line with expectations.

The group added that "comparative trading for last summer will be challenging", though it remained confident of delivering expectations for the rest of the year.

Barr is one of the sponsors of the Glasgow Commonwealth Games, which runs from 23 July to 3 August.

The Scottish firm, which last July abandoned a £1.4bn merger with rival Robinsons maker Britvic, said at its annual results in March that it was "stronger, fitter and more ambitious".

It announced on Tuesday that chairman Ronnie Hanna, who joined the board 11 years ago and served as its head for five years, will retire at the end of this year.

He will be replaced by board member John Nicolson, who is promoted to deputy chairman with immediate effect.

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