Hot summer boosts AG Barr as sales fizz higher


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The Independent Online

IRN-Bru maker AG Barr has announced an 8 per cent increase in third quarter sales after the company bounced from its failed merger with Britvic.

Buoyed by hot summer weather, the company said its brands had performed well during the 18 weeks ending December 1 with volumes also up 6.4 per cent. As well as Scotland’s favourite drink, AG Barr also makes Rubicon and Tizer.

The group said it was on course to maintain its form over the festive period. “The soft-drinks market remains highly competitive as we enter the important Christmas trading period. We are now executing our strong seasonal trading plans and remain confident of delivering our full-year performance expectations despite tough year-on-year trading comparatives,” it added.

Shares in the company, which was jilted at the altar by Britvic in July, rose 9p to 552.5p. Its rival walked away from the deal after the two titans of soft drinks had agreed a £1.4 billion all-share merger. At the time, Britvic said it was “confident of driving £30 million of cost savings over the next three years”, plus international expansion.

Panmure Gordon maintained its Hold recommendation on the shares, saying: “AG Barr is a well-run company, with a strong balance sheet and continues to deliver against its organic growth strategy.”