AG Barr has reported a single-digit rise in 15-week sales and announced that its chairman will step down at the end of 2014.

The Irn Bru maker's sales in the 15 weeks to 11 May climbed by 5.2% on the prior year, it said today (27 May). The company said the sales lift was “underpinned by a strong volume performance across all ... core brands”. It added: “Margins are in line with management expectations.”

The UK soft drinks market as a whole saw value growth of 1.9% and volumes slip 0.6% in the same period, according to Nielsen figures.

Looking ahead, Barr said the UK's consumer environment remains “volatile and as competitive as ever”. But, the group added: “We remain confident in delivering our expectations for the balance of the year.”

Ahead of the company's AGM today, Barr also announced that Ronnie Hanna plans to retire as chairman and step down from the group's board on 31 December. Hanna has served as chairman for five years, with 11 years on the board in total.

John Nicolson will take up the role of deputy chairman with immediate effect, then will replace Hanna as chairman at the end of the year. 

In its last set of full-year results, Barr reported a 19% rise in net profits, off the back of a 7% rise in sales.