While it outpaced industry volume growth with 6.6% volume growth in a flat market averaging 3.3% growth (Nielsen data) Barr also grew turnover 9% - with performance driven by its major brands and well-timed promotions for top brand Irn-Bru ('Bru Island) in the second half of 2012/13.
Maintaining a 'hold' rating on Barr's stock, analyst Damian McNeela from Panmure Gordon said in a note this morning that he also adhered to his existing forecast of 2% profit before tax growth to ₤34.3m ($55m) for Barr's fiscal year ending January 2013, alongside 5.6% revenue growth to ₤250.3m.
Nonetheless, McNeela warned that promotional activity in the lead up to Christmas remained intense. He noted that, while Coca-Cola was promoting three two litre PET bottles for ₤3 and Britvic's was selling two litre PET bottles at half price, Irn-Bru was currently being offered at two bottles for ₤2.50.
With construction of a new factory in Milton Keynes well underway - ahead of scheduled completion in August 2013 - McNeela said he saw no reason why the UK Office of Fair Trading shouldn't approve A.G Barr's planned merger with Britvic by mid-January.
The merger is then due to take effect from January 31 2013.