Barr brands including Irn Bru are official beverages of the Commonwealth Games

Barr brands including Irn Bru are official beverages of the Commonwealth Games

AG Barr has said it expects strong first-half sales as its brands benefit from increased marketing investments.

The Irn Bru owner anticipates year-on-year sales to rise by 5.6% to GBP135m (US$229m) in the six months to the end of July, it said in a pre-close trading update today. The six months reflect Barr's half-year reporting period, however the company will not release its official results until 23 September. 

“Our growth is well balanced across our core brands, all of which have responded positively to increased marketing activities," Barr said. 

In January, Barr announced a GBP12m campaign around its Irn Bru, Strathmore Water, Rubicon and Barr Cola brands ahead of the 2014 Commonwealth Games in Glasgow. The brands are official beverages of the games, which started this week.

Looking ahead, Barr said it expects the market in the second half of the year to “continue to be highly competitive”. But it added: “We expect to deliver another year of good growth given our sustained investment in brands and innovation.”

The UK soft drinks market as a whole saw value growth of 1.6% and volumes slip 0.3% for the period 26 January to 12 July, according to Nielsen figures cited by Barr.

Expert analysis

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