AG Barr is expected to merge with Britvic

AG Barr is expected to merge with Britvic

AG Barr expects its full-year sales to rise by around 7% despite the UK's poor summer weather, the company said today (24 January). 

In a trading update, Barr said Q4 sales should increase by 5% year-on-year, with FY sales up to around GBP253m (US$400.6m). "Despite very poor summer weather and a competitive market place, all of our core brands grew in the year," the company said. 

Barr's Rubicon and Rockstar brands both expect double-digit sales growth for the full-year while core brand Irn Bru should post low- to singe-digit growth, according to the trading report.

Looking to the year ahead, Barr, which is in the process of merging with Britvic, said it is "cautiously optimistic".

A new production facility, being built near Milton Keynes, is “on time and to budget” and expected to be completed this summer, the company said. It also confirmed a 26 February completion for its merger with Britvic, which announced promising first-quarter results yesterday. 

Barr's update impressed market watchers in a difficult year for UK beverage companies as bad weather and rising sugar prices damaged bottom lines. Wayne Brown, analyst at Canaccord Genuity, called it a “strong result”, with top-line gains likely to be reinvested into marketing.

Full-year results will be reported on 21 March, Barr said.