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Drinks Firm A.G. Barr Posts 'Strong' Trading Update

UK-based A.G. Barr, which produces drinks such as Irn-Bru and Rubicon, has posted a trading update in which it reports that revenue for the 26 weeks to 29 July is expected to be up by 8%, to £136 million.

This sales performance was delivered against a market backdrop that saw value increase by 3.5% and volume by 2.1%, according to IRI data, the company said.

"We have delivered a good first half, with strong sales growth supported by our successful innovation programme, particularly Irn-Bru XTRA, which has now been launched in England and Wales, and Rubicon Spring, which is gaining distribution across multiple channels," said Roger White, the company's chief executive.

"We are well positioned to deliver against our expectations across the balance of the year."

Brand Growth Activity

The first half of the year saw the group invest in "innovation and brand growth activity", and this, as well as a "slightly later-than-anticipated phasing[-in] of price increases and generally higher operating costs", meant that margins were down for the period.

A.G. Barr is currently in the middle of a sugar-reduction programme, which it expects to be completed by the end of the financial year, next January, with a product roll-out over the following six months.

'While the wider economic environment continues to be uncertain, we have a clear strategy and a strong commercial plan in place, and we remain confident that we will deliver a full-year financial performance in line with the board's expectations,' the company wrote in a statement.

© 2017 European Supermarket Magazine – your source for the latest retail news. Article by Stephen Wynne-Jones. Click subscribe to sign up to ESM: The European Supermarket Magazine.

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