Sales At A.G. BARR Slip Amid Challenging Trading Conditions

In a trading update for the six months to 30 July, A.G. BARR has revealed that its like-for-like sales were down 2.9% to £125m.

The company, which produces soft drink brands such as IRN-BRU and Rubicon, said that market conditions had been challenging with continued deflation and volume declines. It quoted latest data from IRI, covering the period 31 January to 19 June 2016, which showed that value was down 0.8% whilst volume declined by 0.4%. A.G. BARR added that the poor weather across June and into July will further adversely impact the total market performance.

However, the group said that despite this difficult market backdrop, it maintained both its value and volume overall market share.

A.G. BARR added that it was continuing to responds to changing consumer preferences, announcing a new IRN-BRU zero sugar variant and launching three new lower sugar products. It said that the new products were all showing encouraging early signs with both customers and consumers.

Meanwhile, A.G. BARR acknowledged that the decision of the UK to leave the EU has resulted in a degree of economic uncertainty and a weakening of Sterling. “The impact of weaker Sterling will not have a significant impact in 2016, but it is anticipated input costs will increase in 2017, providing management time to adjust plans accordingly,” the group said.

It added: “The balance of the summer will remain an important trading period, however assuming market conditions improve and our robust second half plans deliver, we expect to meet our profit expectations for the full year.”