AG Barr said its core brands were performing well despite difficult market conditions

AG Barr said its core brands were performing well despite difficult market conditions

Soft drinks group AG Barr has said that sales rose slightly in the 14 weeks to 5 May despite a wet April and low consumer confidence causing a “challenging” market.

The Glasgow-based company said in an interim statement today (21 May), ahead of its annual general meeting, that total revenue for the period was up by 4.3% year-on-year. All core brands have “performed well” in difficult conditions and its balance sheet "remains strong", it said.

“This is a robust performance given the combined effects of a particularly wet April, which has impacted high street footfall and the challenging soft drinks market in general,” the company said.

Mid single-digit material cost inflation is expected for the full year, it added. In March, Barr said the soaring price of sugar meant it expected costs to be forced up by around 4% to 5% in the year ahead. Sugar currently accounts for a quarter of the company's costs.

In the statement, the company said “additional efficiency plans” are now in place to support its “longer-term cost control actions”. 

Looking ahead, Barr said a period of “more normal” weather is required to “bring the market back into growth”.

But it added: “Despite the challenges of current market conditions and continued low consumer confidence, the business is performing in line with our expectations.” 

For a full version of the statement click here.