Market Watch: AG Barr serves up its final update

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IRN-BRU maker AG Barr will deliver its final trading update as a stand-alone company tomorrow ahead of next month’s shareholder vote on the proposed reverse-takeover of Pepsi bottler Britvic.

The City’s focus has been firmly on all the “synergies” – or cost savings – that will be brought about as a result of the merger, but shareholders could well be looking for chief executive Roger White to give his usual season’s update on sales levels of “Scotland’s other national drink” in the run up to the key Christmas period.

Leisure group Whitbread will be toasting a drink of a different kind on Tuesday when it reveals further strong growth in sales at its coffee business Costa, amid ongoing speculation a spin-off will be on the cards.

Costa is forecast by analysts at Barclays to post like-for-like sales growth in its third quarter of 6 per cent.

The chain has consistently been the top performer in the group’s portfolio, which also includes Premier Inn hotels and restaurant brands Beefeater and Brewers Fayre.

Also on Tuesday, Carpetright is expected to show further signs of a tentative recovery as the retailer reveals a bounce in half-year profits.

The group is forecast by brokerage Numis Securities to report pre-tax profits of £7 million in the six months to 31 October – up strongly from £1.4m last year.