Soft drink maker A.G. Barr has raised its annual profit forecast, saying that revenue for the year is set to top pre-pandemic levels after it enjoyed strong sales of Irn-Bru and cocktail mixer brand Funkin.
In a trading update, A.G. Barr said it had initiated cost control actions, including increasing the prices of its drinks, to mitigate a hit from previously-flagged inflationary cost pressures.
While drinking in pubs and restaurants took a hit due to COVID-related curbs in Britain with renewed restrictions in December due to the Omicron variant, at-home drinking has picked up over the course of the pandemic.
Full-Year Revenue Forecast
A.G. Barr forecast revenue of £267 million (€319.5 million) for the year ended January 30, and said it expects profit before tax and one-time items to be slightly ahead of its forecast in November.
"We are delighted with both the resilience our business has demonstrated and the growth we have delivered," commented Roger White, chief executive. "We have remained fully operational throughout the year, producing high quality products and providing strong business support to all of our customers.
"We plan to further invest in our business in 2022/23 and remain confident in our ability to deliver continued growth in both revenue and profit in the coming year."
A.G. Barr rival and tonic maker Fever-Tree also raised its annual revenue forecast last month.
Commenting on its performance, analyst Wayne Brown of Liberum said, "AG Barr FY’22 revenue has come £3m ahead of expectations, representing the third upgrade in six months. This comes despite the challenges from Omicron where opportunity was lost on the upside rather than create downside risk.
"The group is well placed for the year ahead; as a vertically integrated, 100% branded business, with more than 40% of the sales coming from the impulse channel, gives the group total commercial oversight and pricing power flexibility."
A.G. Barr, which recently announced the acquisition of a stake in oat milk producer MOMA Foods, will release its full-year results on 29 March.