Irn-Bru manufacturer A G Barr nets £7.6m Rockstar payout

By Rod Addy

- Last updated on GMT

AG Barr produces Irn-Bru, Rubicon and Funkin brands
AG Barr produces Irn-Bru, Rubicon and Funkin brands

Related tags Drinks Supply chain Finance

Soft drinks firm A G Barr has gained £7.6m in compensation for the termination of its sale and distribution agreement with energy drink brand Rockstar Inc, acquired by US-based PepsiCo in March 2020.

Commenting on the payment, which A G Barr confirmed in a stock exchange announcement on 18 November​, Shore Capital research analysts Clive Black and Darren Shirley said it would 'further bolster an already very strong group balance sheet'.

Upon announcing the financial agreement, AG Barr stated: "Despite continued uncertainty associated with the COVID-19 pandemic the company continues to trade in line with the most recent market guidance as communicated at the interim results in September."

Black and Shirley said: "We take considerable comfort from this update albeit Barr, along with the wider food & beverage system in the UK, still has to navigate whatever the pandemic creates through the Christmas and New Year period, whilst also noting the ongoing uncertainty around UK-EU relations.

'Excellent operational shape'

"In summary though, Barr is a class act to us, with experienced and highly capable management, a strong stable of brands, excellent manufacturing and distribution assets and a robust financial constitution. Whilst there have been and remain hurdles to counter, we believe that Barr is in excellent operational shape and very focused on the tasks at hand. As such, we believe this high quality company is well set for the foreseeable future."

In September, AG Barr, which produces Irn-Bru, Rubicon and Funkin brands and is based in Cumbernauld, Scotland, reported significant trading volatility as a result of the pandemic in its interim results.

In results for the six months ended 25 July 2020, the company said the impact of the initial lockdown had dragged interim sales down by 7.6%, from £122.5m over the same period in 2019 to £113.2m. However, discounting exceptionals, pre-tax profit rose strongly by 19.4% to £16.6m.

Sales of its Funkin brand fell by 34% over the period, hit by the shutdown of the hospitality sector. However, the company said its value share of the total UK soft drinks market increased by 1.2% and within this retail and online sales had grown by more than 170%.

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