Profits bubble over for AG Barr

“Exotic juices” keep demand high, even as UK households continue to struggle.

A mango drink from Rubicon, owned by AG Barr.
A mango drink from Rubicon, owned by AG Barr.

 

The Scottish soft-drinks manufacturer AG Barr has posted profit after tax of £28.15m for the financial year ended 28 January 2012, compared to £22.59m the previous year.

The company, best known for Irn-Bru, is the largest manufacturer of soft drinks in the UK. It reported revenue of £236m (2011: £222.37m), while net assets increased from £116.7m to £127m. Turnover grew by 6.6 per cent to £237m (2011: £222.4m).

Roger White, chief executive, said: “AG Barr has demonstrated its resilience in the face of challenging market conditions, in particular coping with substantial raw material cost headwinds while achieving revenue growth based on brand development, innovation and improved focus on execution.”

The company reduced net debt by 59.5 per cent to £6.7m and improved volume ahead of the soft-drinks market to produce a strong profit performance, despite what most in the industry acknowledge was a challenging trading environment. 

AG Barr’s new production and warehouse facility in the Milton Keynes area, meanwhile, is in the final stages of contractual discussions.

White added: “Our operational performance improved substantially in the final quarter of last year and we are now beginning to see the benefits of our investment in our production assets.”

Basic earnings per share (EPS) increased by 24.8 per cent to 73.43p while underlying EPS increased by 9.1 per cent.

“We anticipate 2012 will be another challenging year in the UK, with household disposable incomes remaining under pressure. Despite this, we remain confident that our financial strength, backed up with strong sales momentum across our core brands, excellent innovation and our anticipated capital investment programme will facilitate further good progress,” White concluded.