Irn-Bru sells off strongly as AG Barr earnings rise above pre-Covid levels

Irn-Bru is selling sharply as owner AG Barr’s earnings exceed pre-pandemic levels, prompting a bumper dividend payout to shareholders

  • AG Barr, owner of Irn-Bru, saw sales and profits increase across all brands
  • Shareholder dividends have resumed and the group’s share price is up today

Irn-Bru maker AG Barr has resumed paying dividends after reporting increased profits and growth across all of its brands.

The drinks company has recommended a final dividend of 10p per share, bringing the total dividend for the year to 12p per share, in addition to a special dividend of 10p per share.

Subject to shareholder approval, the balance of the dividend will be paid to ordinary shareholders of record on or after May 12, 2022 with an ex-dividend date of June 10, 2022.

Popular: Irn-Bru maker AG Barr has resumed paying dividends after posting a jump in profits

In the year to January, the group’s pre-tax statutory profit soared 62% to £42.2m on sales of £268.6m, up 18% over the previous year.

Profit before tax and exceptionals was £41.5m for the period, marking a 26.5% increase on a year ago.

The company saw sales growth across all of its brands, with core brands now ahead of pre-Covid levels.

On Irn-Bru, the group said: “The IRN-BRU brand increased volume, revenue and gross margin, benefiting from distribution gains in England as well as the reintroduction of IRN-BRU 1901 in Scotland.

“Particularly strong growth in individual boxes and smaller PET packaging, together with the optimization of the promotional mix and prices, supported the improvement in margins.”

The group’s operating margin before exceptional items increased by 83 basis points to 15.6%.

Roger White, Group Chief Executive, said: “Our business and our brands have once again proven their resilience in uncertain and often challenging circumstances.

“We accelerated our revenue growth and, as a result, achieved a strong financial performance. During the year, we resumed our dividend, alongside the payment of a one-time special dividend, and our balance sheet continued to strengthen.

He added: “We enter the new financial year with good momentum and exciting branding and sales plans. Trading in the first weeks of the new fiscal year was well ahead of the previous year and in line with our expectations.

“Like most businesses, we face significant inflationary pressures, but we are well placed as a group to weather them and we will continue to seek to manage our exposure proactively by taking mitigating action by revenue management, pricing, procurement and cost control.

“The growth potential of our business is based on our growing brands, our highly skilled people and our resilient infrastructure. We plan to invest further in all of these important areas and I remain confident in our ability to deliver continued growth in both revenue and profit in the coming year.

Last month, AG Barr revealed that the prices of its drinks had risen due to inflation.

AG Barr bosses said they had seen rising raw material costs, including packaging and energy bills, prompting cost-cutting measures, adding that they had “adjusted our prices with customers , if applicable”.

AG Barr shares jumped today and rose 2.26% or 12.00p to 544.00p this afternoon. Shares are up about 5% over the past year.

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