Sunshine and sugar-free fuels profits

A sunny summer with strong sales of sugar-free Irn-Bru helped AG Barr’s pre-tax profits rise 9.6% to £38.1m in the year ending 26 January.

Irn-Bru Sugar FreeTurnover was up 6.9%, to £254.1m, thanks to a 5% increase in volumes.
The exceptionally hot weather in July and generally warm summer more than made up for a cold, wet start to the year.
“The business has benefited hugely from the challenges of the past year, said chief executive Roger White, “emerging stronger, fitter and more ambitious to develop.”
Irn-Bru remains the company’s major brand, with overall sales up by 4.3%. England and Wales put on 7.5%. There was double digit growth in Irn-Bru Sugar Free. One of this year’s new lines Irn-Bru ice cream, will build on the brand’s existing business, the firm said.
Still drinks performed marginally better than carbonates in value terms and were significantly ahead in volume, driven by the Strathmore water brand, which did particularly well.
By putting on listings across the UK, Rockstar recorded growth of more than 60%.