Barr released its FY results today

Barr released its FY results today

Price pressures on sugar will lessen this year, the head of AG Barr has told just-drinks after commodity costs dragged down the Irn Bru maker's full-year profits.

Barr CEO Roger White said today (21 March) Barr's sugar costs increased by 20% in the past year, contributing to a 4.3% year-on-year input cost increase. Last year Barr predicted sugar to rise by about 5% in price, and the jump was partly responsible for a 9% FY profits slide in today's results.

But speaking to just-drinks, White said that despite expected fluctuations in the foreign exchange markets, “I suspect (the sugar price) is going to be less aggressive than it was for the last two years.”

White also called for “common sense and reality” after the UK's Office of Fair Trading referred its planned merger with Britvic to the Competition Commission. White said the decision last month by the OFT  was based on “economic theory rather than practicality”, but added he is still positive the merger can go ahead.

“As and when we get cleared the boards of both businesses will re-evaluate the position and hopefully we'll get on with things,” he said.

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