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May 28, 2021

AG Barr hails Q1 recovery as UK consumers head back out – trading update

AG Barr has welcomed the return of out-of-home beverage consumption as lockdown restrictions in its flagship domestic market ease.

By Andy Morton

In a Q1 trading update today, the Irn Bru brand owner said today that its sales volumes and mix improved in the three months to the end of April, thanks to a shift back to “drink now” brands. The UK-headquartered company added that new launch Rubicon Raw Energy saw “promising” customer listings and consumer feedback.

“Current trading is encouraging and we have clear plans to further invest in our brands, with exciting consumer engagement and marketing activity planned across the year,” Barr said.

The company also highlighted a recovery for its Funkin business, which sells cocktail syrups into the on-premise. The unit is “already beginning to see the benefits” of lifted coronavirus restrictions despite a different pace of measures lifting across UK regions.

Barr concluded: “Whilst there remains some uncertainty in the short term as pandemic-related restrictions ease, we believe we are well-placed to drive the growth of the business and remain confident in the company’s prospects for the full year.”

The Scottish soft drinks group was heavily impacted by the coronavirus pandemic. Full-year sales, announced last month, fell by 11.2% as the final quarter of the fiscal year dragged on overall performance.

Barr launched Rubicon Raw Energy in February. The release came six months after the company lost the UK manufacture, distribution and sales rights for Rockstar Energy following the energy drinks brand’s divestment to PepsiCo.

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