AG Barr sales beat pandemic effect and cost pressures

By Rod Addy

- Last updated on GMT

AG Barr makes brands such as Irn Bru, San Benedetto, Snapple and Tizer
AG Barr makes brands such as Irn Bru, San Benedetto, Snapple and Tizer

Related tags Finance Drinks

AG Barr has bounced back from the pandemic to post sales ahead of last year in a trading update, with Barr Soft Drinks and Funkin both performing strongly.

Core brands are believed to have racked up sales ahead of the company's previous financial year. In addition, through cost control and price adjustments inflationary pressures - particularly from packaging and energy costs - had been effectively managed, the company said.

"AG Barr is a very high quality business, with an excellent management team, and a well-invested manufacturing infrastructure that supplies a differentiated portfolio of British brands with notably strong regional positions,"​ Darren Shirley, research analyst at Shore Capital, said.

Patrick Higgins, food & beverage analyst at Goodbody commented: “Overall, AG Barr has delivered a strong update, with revenues exhibiting an impressive growth of 17.5% year-on-year.

Inflationary pressures

While inflationary pressures have increased, the group has initiated several cost control actions to reduce its impact on profit margins, including adjusting pricing with customers. Looking forward, this means that despite clear cost headwinds, AG Barr is still well placed for further growth in the year ahead.”

AG Barr chief executive officer Roger White said the business had 'delivered an excellent financial performance against a volatile backdrop' and had made particular progress on its No Time To Waste environmental sustainability programme. "We have remained fully operational throughout the year, producing high quality products and providing strong business support to all of our customers.

"We plan to further invest in our business in 2022/23 and remain confident in our ability to deliver continued growth in both revenue and profit in the coming year."

Numbers at a glance for the 53 weeks to 30 January 2022

  • Expected revenue: +17.5% to £267m (ahead of guidance of £264m), including £21m of Rockstar sales
  • Operating margin before exceptional items expected to be 15.6% (2020/21: 14.8%)
  • Net cash: £66m

In December 2021, AG Barr announced it planned to take over the Moma porridge and plant-based 'milk' business in three years after agreeing an initial 60% equity stake​. The acquisition takes the maker of brands such as Irn Bru, San Benedetto, Snapple and Tizer into the plant-based 'milk' sector.