Irn Bru maker AG Barr 'on track' as new products lift sales
Irn Bru maker AG Barr has said it is on track to meet full-year profit guidance, despite a "highly competitive" UK soft drinks market.
In a trading update, the firm forecast a slight dip in revenue, to £257m, for the 12 months to 28 January.
But it said second-half trading was boosted by new product launches, such as Irn Bru Xtra and Rubicon Spring.
AG Barr also said it maintained "tight control" of costs, while a company-wide overhaul helped cut overheads.
The Cumbernauld-based firm, which also produces Snapple and Strathmore water, is investing £10m in its production and distribution centre in Milton Keynes.
In September, AG Barr announced it was cutting 90 jobs and was grappling with a shift in consumer tastes towards low-sugar drinks after the UK government announced plans for a sugar tax in 2018.
The job cuts, which accounted for about 10% of the workforce, were part of a company-wide revamp expected to cost about £4m.
In its trading update, AG Barr said it did not expect market conditions to improve this year.
It said: "Looking ahead, the uncertain economic environment indicates that 2017 will be another challenging year for UK-based businesses.
"However our strong and flexible business model, our differentiated brands and our well-invested asset base ensure we are well placed to continue to deliver long-term value to shareholders."
The company is set to report full-year results on 28 March.