Analysis

Focus - AG Barr's H1 Performance

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AG Barr announced its half-year results yesterday (23 September), revealing that profits had taken a dent from its failed merger with Britvic. Sales, however, were up by 5.8%. Here just-drinks takes a closer look at the figures in the six months to the end of July:

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  • The company's core trading region remains the UK. Around 60% of its sales are in England and Wales, while 38% of revenue comes from Scotland. Just 2% comes from overseas. Sales were up in all regions in the six months, with England and Wales performing the strongest, where sales rose 8.9%.
  • All of its core brands saw a “solid” performance in the period. Barr's energy drink brand Rockstar was the star performer, with sales up by 70% year-on-year. Rockstar currently has a 21% share of the UK's off-trade “big can” energy drinks markets, compared to Monster (46%) and Relentless (33%), based on latest Nielsen figures. 
  • Irn Bru sales rose by 3% in the period. 
  • The whole UK soft drinks category saw a major spike in sales in July, which was the third warmest July since 1906. However, this was off the back of a “volatile” period for the UK market from February to June, chief executive Roger White noted. The group's August and September performance has been “more average,” he said.
  • Barr claims Irn Bru offers it a “disproportionate opportunity” on social media as the brand's “page engagement” rate is well above the industry average. Irn Bru's rate stands at around 14%, compared to an average among other brands of 1.19%.
  • The company's new production and warehouse facility in Milton Keynes has started operations. White revealed the plant is capable of producing 33 cans per second. Final spend on the project will total GBP44m (US$70.6m)
  • Barr is excited by the potential opportunity from next year's Commonwealth Games in Glasgow. The group's Strathmore bottled water brand is the “official” water of the event and the company says it is “working closely” with organisers.

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