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AG Barr boss hails ‘momentum’ as drinks firm faces continued inflation

Bottles of Irn Bru in the production hall at AG Barr’s Irn Bru factory in Cumbernauld (Andrew Milligan/PA) (PA Archive)
Bottles of Irn Bru in the production hall at AG Barr’s Irn Bru factory in Cumbernauld (Andrew Milligan/PA) (PA Archive)

The boss of Irn-Bru maker AG Barr said it has seen “strong momentum” over the past six months but is still facing pressure from soaring cost inflation.

Roger White, chief executive of the Scottish drinks firm, told the PA news agency that it has come under pressure from rising CO2 prices, commodities and weakness in the pound.

“We’re still seeing cost inflation, although the pressure on certain commodities, like aluminium, has somewhat receded,” he said on Tuesday.

“Carbon dioxide is something that has seen inflation but we have not had any issues regarding supply.

“We’ve been able to hold our prices, which is positive, and have been able to positively offset a lot of increases we are seeing through the supply chain.”

AG Barr chief executive Roger White (Stewart Attwood/AG Barr/PA) (PA Media)
AG Barr chief executive Roger White (Stewart Attwood/AG Barr/PA) (PA Media)

Mr White stressed that cost control and sales growth has allowed it protect profit margins.

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AG Barr highlighted that revenues increased by 16.7% to £157.9 million over the six months to July 31.

Meanwhile, statutory pre-tax profits increased by 1.2% to £24.7 million, compared with the same period last year.

Mr White added: “We made a very strong start to the year and continue to see good momentum across our business and brands.

“That said, the UK’s high level of inflation has accelerated across the summer and is creating a well-documented cost-of-living crisis for many consumers, alongside increasing challenges for industry.”

Shares in the group moved 1.1% higher to 502.85p after early trading on Tuesday.