UK: AG Barr enjoys strong start to year

By | 11 June 2007

AG Barr has released an upbeat trading update for the first three months of its financial year.

The Scotland-based soft drinks company said today that overall revenue in the period from the end of January to the end of April was up by 21% compared with the same period last year. Stripping out proceeds from the Strathmore water business, which was acquired in June last year, revenue increased by 11%.

Barr credited some promotional phasing changes which favour the current year and good weather conditions. "Year-on-year revenue comparisons will now come up against last year's exceptional early summer weather," the company warned.

As well as the good weather last year, Barr noted that, although operating margins are in line with expectations, continued pressure could be expected from rising material prices. This should be offset, however, by product price increases implemented during the period.

Looking forward, Barr said: "Our trading outlook remains in line with expectations. The business remains focused on developing our sales revenue at the same time as delivering the benefits associated with our major asset redevelopment programme."

Last month, press speculation suggested that Barr was the target of a takeover attempt by The Coca-Cola Co. A spokesperson for Coca-Cola GB would not be drawn on the reports, which first appeared in The Scotsman newspaper.

Sectors: Soft drinks, Water

Companies: AG Barr, Coca-Cola Co

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