Barr is sounding positive about its first-half performance

Barr is sounding positive about its first-half performance

AG Barr expects to report a 5% rise in half-year sales helped by the recent hot weather in the UK. 

In a trading update today (25 July), the Irn Bru producer said it is anticipating sales of around GBP127.5m (US$193m) in the six months to the end of July. Second-quarter sales are expected to rise by 9.8%, it said.

The group, who earlier this month abandoned its proposed merger with Britvic, said growth was due to “successful marketing initiatives and the positive impact of weather from late June onwards”. 

It added: “Margins in the period have improved relative to last year, benefiting from the strong performance of new product development and innovation, less volatile input costs, modest improvements to pricing and improved efficiency of promotional investment.”

Looking ahead, Barr said it expects the second half of the year to be “very competitive” as promotional activity in the industry mirrors that of last year. But, it added: “We have good visibility across our cost base through to the end of the current year as well as strong brand and executional plans which gives us confidence in delivering another strong year.” 

The company confirmed that it has started can production at its new Milton Keynes facility. 

Today's statement made no mention of the collapsed Britvic deal. Reports earlier this month suggested Barr could be looking to acquire GlaxoSmithKline's Lucozade and Ribena brands instead.

Barr will report its full first-half figures on 23 September.