Barr jobs could go

Irn-Bru Xtra: feedback very positive, says AG Barr.

SOFT Drinks firm AG Barr is consulting employees and could shed 90 jobs by the end of next January as a result of a series of changes announced with its latest interim results.

The potential redundancies, from a workforce of around 1000 in the UK, include a number of manufacturing jobs at its Cumbernauld plant as production of brands important in the English market is increasingly located at its Milton Keynes facility.

A number of sales jobs south of  the border could go as the firm says customers are increasingly centralising buying. The effect on salesforce jobs in Scotland should be less marked, however.

Barr saw revenue decrease in the six months to the end of July, from £130.3m in 2015 to £125.6m, a decline that the firm puts down to price deflation in the UK and poor weather. But profit on ordinary activities edged upwards to £17m.

New product development especially in areas where the company was developing low-sugar and sugar- free products is going well, commercial director Jonathan Kemp told Scottish Grocer.

Feedback in Scotland from the launch of Irn-Bru Xtra had been very positive, he said.

The company used the results announcement to describe the Westminster Government’s proposed sugar tax as “a punitive and unnecessary distortion to competition in the UK, which will be very complex, expensive and difficult to implement”.