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Update - UK: Analysts toast AG Barr's "strong" quarter

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AG Barr has delivered a strong final quarter, despite "challenging market conditions", Panmure Gordon analysts have said.

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This morning (26 January), the Irn-Bru producer said it predicts a 6% rise in like-for-like sales for the 12 months to 28 January, on the back of a strong fourth quarter and continued demand for its core brands. Like-for-like sales in the final quarter are expected to come in around 12% ahead of the prior year.

"AG Barr delivered a strong final quarter ... resulting in FY 2012 revenue growth of 6% ahead of our 4.3% forecast," said analysts from Panmure Gordon. "We believe the company remains on course to report 4% growth in operating profits to GBP34m (US$53.4m) for FY 2012."

The analysts said the company has benefited from an expansion in distribution of its portfolio across the UK, in addition to promotions for the Irn-Bru brand.

"[AG Barr] shares have risen by 14% over the past twelve months, outperforming the FTSE All Share by 17%," the analysts added. "The company continues to deliver strong operational performances and should be able to finance the expansion in England from its strong balance sheet."

Earlier this month, AG Barr confirmed its plans to build a GBP40m bottling and distribution centre in the south of England.

AG Barr's share price climbed by 5.25% to GBP1.29 at 1343 GMT.


Sectors: Company results, Soft drinks, Water

Companies: AG Barr

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