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A.G. Barr credits product innovation for strengthened second half trading performance

A.G. Barr credits product innovation for strengthened second half trading performance

A.G. Barr saw second half trading performance strengthen, crediting the launch of sugar-free Irn-Bru Xtra and sparkling water Rubicon Spring for helping boost sales in a ‘highly competitive’ UK market. 

Launched in August, sugar-free Irn-Bru Extra was the first new permanent product from the top selling Scottish carbonated soft drink Irn-Bru brand in 35 years. Rubicon Spring, a sparkling spring water with fruit juice and 15 calories or less per bottle, was launched in May.

AG Barr today announced a trading update for the financial year ending January 28, 2017, ahead of its full year financial results on March 28. It says the UK soft drinks market remains ‘highly competitive’, with the latest IRI data for the 48 weeks to January 1, 2017, showing value up around 1% and volume up around 1.5%.

AG Barr’s revenue for the 52 weeks ended January 28, 2017, is predicted to be around £257m ($325m). 

“We believe that the combination of strong trading execution, successful innovation and tight cost control will enable us to meet our profit expectation for the year,” said the company in a statement, pointing to tight cost control and company-wide re-organization.

AG Barr warns that the “uncertain economic environment indicates that 2017 will be another challenging year for UK-based businesses.” However, it says that its strong and flexible business model, differentiated brands, and a well-invested asset base will ensure long-term success. 

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