Irn-Bru owner’s sales hit by coronavirus

By Michelle Perrett

- Last updated on GMT

AG Barr has been impacted by Coronavirus
AG Barr has been impacted by Coronavirus

Related tags: coronavirus

A G Barr, the soft drinks company that produces Irn-Bru, Rubicon and Funkin, has reported “significant trading volatility” in its interim results following the outbreak of the coronavirus pandemic.

In a trading update for the 26 weeks ended 25 July 2020, the company said it had ended the 2019/2020 financial year with an encouraging sales performance. This continued into the first eight weeks of the new financial year, it added.

However, after the UK-wide lockdown began on 23 March 2020, it entered a period of significant trading volatility, starting with consumer stockpiling, then shifting towards larger, less frequent take-home purchasing. It said it was also “exposed” ​to the closure of the hospitality sector, as well as a material reduction in the out-of-home consumption of soft drinks. 

Favourable weather

The company added that sales did benefit from the favourable weather during the lockdown. And it claimed that, since lockdown measures began to ease, sales in the hospitality and on-the-go consumption segments had started to recover slowly. 

A G Barr expected revenue for the 26 weeks ended 25 July to be c.£113m, an estimated 8% decline on the prior year (2019: £122.5m). For the three-month period from April to June, revenue declined by 12% against the same period in the prior year. 

‘Difficult times’

Chief executive Roger White said: “I am incredibly proud of how our teams across the business have responded to the COVID-19 pandemic. These have been difficult times for everyone. However, despite the challenging environment, we have maintained our quality and service standards, thanks to the dedication and adaptability of our people. We are a profitable and cash-generative business in a robust drinks sector, and I am confident that our business will continue to prove its resilience for the balance of the year and beyond.”

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