Scotland business

Irn Bru maker AG Barr 'on track' as new products lift sales

Ir Bru bottles Image copyright AG Barr

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.

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