AG Barr profits sparkle as warm summer boosts sales

Soft drinks group AG Barr today reported a 12.3 per cent jump in half-year profits as the “excellent” summer weather gave some fizz to its sales.

The Cumbernauld-based maker of Irn-Bru, Rubicon and Strathmore posted a pre-tax profit before one-off items of £16.6 million for the six months to 28 July, up from a restated £14.8m for the same period last year.

Total turnover grew 5.8 per cent to £128.7m as the soaring temperatures boosted demand, although Barr – which pulled the plug on a planned tie-up with rival Britvic in July – said competition in the soft drinks sector remains “intense”, with the largest brands increasing the scale of their discounting.

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Chief executive Roger White said: “We successfully navigated the challenging market conditions in the early part of 2013 and have accelerated our growth in the second quarter.

“Our brands, assets and people are all performing well, benefiting from continued high levels of investment. We remain very confident in the long-term growth potential of our brands and business.”

Shareholders will receive an interim dividend of 2.825p on 18 October, an increase of 8 per cent on last year’s payout.