Irn-Bru deliveries suffer from HGV driver shortage

AG Barr, the company behind the soft drink, said it has seen ‘increased challenges’ from the supply chain disruptions in recent weeks.

Simon Neville
Tuesday 28 September 2021 14:03
The company revealed sales remain strong despite the pandemic (Andrew Milligan/PA)
The company revealed sales remain strong despite the pandemic (Andrew Milligan/PA)

Irn-Bru maker AG Barr has revealed it is struggling to make deliveries of its drinks due to the HGV and supply chain issues.

The company said it continues to “monitor closely” the situation and is hopeful the issues can be resolved soon.

Updating the stock market, bosses said: “In recent weeks we have seen increased challenges across the UK road haulage fleet, associated in part with the Covid-19 pandemic, impacting customer deliveries and inbound materials.

“In addition, the risks associated with the wider labour pool and the current Covid-19 pandemic response are areas we continue to monitor closely.”

AG Barr boss Roger White said profits remain strong (Stewart Attwood/AG Barr/PA)

Roger White, chief executive of the company based in Cumbernauld North Lanarkshire added that supply issues have also resulted in cost inflation.

“There is a tightness with drivers and we have had particular disruption too with materials, particularly aluminium cans,” he told the PA news agency.

Inflation is all around us at the moment – materials, wages and supply among other things – so we have to be careful how we manage this.

“We have accounted for this and that’s why we recognise that operating margins are likely to be impacted in the second half of the year.”

The warnings came as the company revealed sales remain strong despite the pandemic, with growth returning following the reopening of pubs, bars and restaurants.

Bosses said there had been a heavy shift to at-home drinking of their products but with restrictions easing more customers are buying drinks on-the-go and in the hospitality sector.

Its pre-mixed cocktail brand Funkin saw some of the strongest growth in the six months to August 1 compared with a year ago, they added.

At-home cocktail sales rose 114.3% to £10.2 million and bar sales soared 229.5% following reopenings.

In the six-month period, total sales rose 19.5% to £135.3 million compared with the same period a year ago.

Pre-tax profits were also up nearly four-fold from £5.1 million to £24.4 million – due to a £7 million writedown on its Strathmore water brand recorded in results last year.

Mr White said: “AG Barr is a growth-focused business operating in resilient and growing market categories, with dynamic brands, great people and a strong financial position.

“Our positive first-half performance reflects these fundamentals as well as the encouraging performance of recent innovation launches in both soft drinks and cocktails.”

Register for free to continue reading

Registration is a free and easy way to support our truly independent journalism

By registering, you will also enjoy limited access to Premium articles, exclusive newsletters, commenting, and virtual events with our leading journalists

Please enter a valid email
Please enter a valid email
Must be at least 6 characters, include an upper and lower case character and a number
Must be at least 6 characters, include an upper and lower case character and a number
Must be at least 6 characters, include an upper and lower case character and a number
Please enter your first name
Special characters aren’t allowed
Please enter a name between 1 and 40 characters
Please enter your last name
Special characters aren’t allowed
Please enter a name between 1 and 40 characters
You must be over 18 years old to register
You must be over 18 years old to register
Opt-out-policy
You can opt-out at any time by signing in to your account to manage your preferences. Each email has a link to unsubscribe.

Already have an account? sign in

By clicking ‘Register’ you confirm that your data has been entered correctly and you have read and agree to our Terms of use, Cookie policy and Privacy notice.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy policy and Terms of service apply.

Thank you for registering

Please refresh the page or navigate to another page on the site to be automatically logged in