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30 Mar 2021 | 09:51

AG Barr FY profits, revenues hit by pandemic

(Sharecast News) - Irn Bru maker AG Barr posted a slump in full-year sales and profit on Tuesday as it took a hit from the pandemic. In the year to 24 January 2021, statutory pre-tax profit slid 30.5% to £26m on revenue of £227m, down 11.2% from the previous year.

The soft drinks maker said it started the year with strong momentum. However, the Covid-19 pandemic began to have an impact at the end of March, mostly on its hospitality and convenience channels, with a hit to 'out of home' consumption of soft drinks and a consumer shift towards larger, less frequent take-home purchasing. As a result, first-quarter revenue fell 9.1%.

"While these shopping and consumption patterns continued throughout the full lockdown period across April, May and June, we believe sales benefited from the favourable weather during this time," it said. "As lockdown measures eased somewhat from July, we saw sales in the hospitality and 'on the go' consumption segments beginning to recover, albeit slowly. Q2 revenue declined 6.4% resulting in H1 revenue down 7.6%."

AG Barr said Covid-19 developments since early December 2020, in particular increased social restrictions and the full lockdown in January 2021, had a "significant" effect, mostly in the hospitality and 'drink now' categories. This, along with the end of its partnership with Rockstar, meant that second-half revenues declined 14.6%.

Chief executive Roger White said: "We delivered a resilient financial performance in a year that was difficult for all.

"Across the year, we continued to focus on our key strategic initiatives. We have significantly progressed our multi-beverage strategy, extended our reach into new channels and accelerated our roadmap towards net zero, which we aim to deliver by 2040. We closed the year in strong financial health, with our brands and business poised for growth on a like for like basis, and with the clear intention to recommence dividend payments in 2021."
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