UK: Turnover and profit up at AG Barr

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The UK soft drinks group, AG Barr, has reported turnover of £62.2m for the six months to 27 July, up 5% from £59.4m in the corresponding period in 2001. Pre-tax profits for the period rose by 9% from £5.7m to £6.2m.

The company said the profit growth was a "little disappointing" given the special factors which had affected the previous year's results and had led the company to expect a bigger rise in profit.

It said the bad weather in the UK in May, June and July had dampened demand for soft drinks while competitive pressures in the market place had remained intense. Also, the continuing high value of the pound had meant that UK-based franchise bottlers of international brands remained under threat from imports of the same brands from foreign manufacturers with a consequential effect on UK pricing.

"The better weather pattern immediately following the half year end has enabled us to maintain our trading position at the beginning of the second six months but the market place remains very competitive," said the company's executive chairman, Robin Barr. "We intend however, to continue progress during the remainder of this financial year with the development of our Irn-Bru brand in England and Wales."

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