AG Barr profits rise after restructuring

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AG Barr, the Scottish maker of Irn Bru and other soft drinks, said its restructuring programme helped its profits to rise more than 4 per cent in its last financial year.

Revenues fell 0.6 per cent in the 12 months to January 28, to £257m, but pre-tax profits rose 4.4 per cent to £43m, including income received after its Orangina franchise was terminated. The preceding financial year had an extra week, and the company said that accounting for this, revenues rose 2 per cent.

The results were in line with forecasts after the company’s last trading update in February.

The company, which faces the dual challenge of rising inflation and a proposed tax on sugary drinks, has cut jobs and worked to reduce the amount of sugar in many of its products.

It said it had implemented a company-wide “business reorganisation that has both enhanced our organisational capability and reduced our overhead base by around £3m”.

Barr raised its final dividend to 10.9p per share, bringing the total dividend to 14.4p per share, up 8 per cent on a year earlier.

The company said its defined benefit pension scheme was closed to future accrual, “further reducing our corporate risk profile”.

Roger White, Chief Executive, commented:

We have made considerable progress across the business over the last 12 months and delivered a solid financial performance in volatile and uncertain market conditions.

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