Barr shows bottle as it predicts Irn-Bru sales are set to rise

DELAYS to the delivery of two pieces of equipment at Irn-Bru-owner AG Barr's Cumbernauld plant have dented margins during its first half, the company has warned.

But the firm said the problem was being resolved and that it was still on course to hit full-year profit predictions. The value of sales rose by 6 per cent in the 26 weeks to 9 July, according to a pre-close update released ahead of September's interim results.

A wet June lead to a 3 per cent drop in the value of sales in the final four weeks of the period though, during which the firm also came up against tough comparative figures from the previous summer.

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Overall, Barr still expects half-year revenues to be up by about 3.5 per cent to 123 million.

Roger White, Barr's chief executive, told The Scotsman: "In the past year, we've invested 10m in new bottle-filling machines. These final pieces of equipment would have allowed us to step up production from 38,000 bottles an hour to 48,000 and the delay put us behind by about eight-to-12 weeks."

White added brand investment would also have eaten into first-half profits but that he was "cautiously optimistic" about the second half of the year.

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