Barr in line for fizzing figures

Chief executive of Irn-Bru makers AG Barr, Roger White, has brushed off speculation over moves to break up rival Britvic. Picture: PA
Chief executive of Irn-Bru makers AG Barr, Roger White, has brushed off speculation over moves to break up rival Britvic. Picture: PA
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IRN-BRU maker AG Barr will tomorrow shake off the disappointment of its failed £1.4 billion reverse takeover of Britvic by reporting a summer of fizzing sales.

Revenues at the Cumbernauld-based firm are expected to have surged by almost 10 per cent in its second quarter after drink sales soared during the heatwave. First-half sales are expected to be up 4.9 per cent at £127.5 million.

Analysts at Panmure Gordon forecast Barr’s adjusted pre-tax profits rising by 17 per cent to £17.3m.

However, despite the summer weather boost, Barr has warned investors to expect a “very competitive” market in its second half, with heavy promotions and discounts.

The firm’s growth ambitions were dealt a blow in July when Fruit Shoot, J2O and Tango-maker Britvic snubbed a tie-up and decided to go it alone, despite more generous terms from its rival.

Barr has opened a factory in Milton Keynes, which should help slash costs and boost growth in England. Analysts at Canaccord Genuity said the plant will be “one of the most-efficient soft drink manufacturing facilities in the world”.

Barr had been approached to buy Lucozade and Ribena, before drugs giant GlaxoSmithKline offloaded them to Orangina Schweppes owner Suntory in a £1.35bn deal earlier this month.

Shore Capital analyst Phil Carroll said: “We expect Barr to now focus on organic growth and bedding in its new factory.”