It said that as the lockdown measures initially had resulted in the closure of pubs, bars and other hospitality venues across the UK, it was now “understandably” seeing a significant impact on the out-of-home consumption of soft drinks in general.
It revealed that sales via its “impulse” customers (c.40% of total revenue) had fallen markedly as a result.
Although take-home purchases had remained more resilient, sales had been more volatile than usual, it revealed.
“As a result, we expect there to be a material adverse impact to the group’s financial performance due to these fast-changing circumstances. However, at the current time, the quantum of this remains uncertain,” it said.
Working with Government
The company said that, along with other food and drink manufacturers, it was working closely with the Government, and the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs in particular, to maintain continuity of the food and drink supply chain.
It said its primary focus was on the safety and wellbeing of its employees, suppliers, customers and consumers, and it had taken steps to protect the staff considered most vulnerable.
It added: “For our colleagues who work in key production, warehousing and delivery roles, we have introduced strict safety, hygiene and two-metre social distancing measures.
“Our production and logistics sites currently remain operational, and we are extremely grateful to our dedicated supply chain employees and partners.”
A G Barr added it was important to conserve cash and it has frozen all new capital projects, as well as scaling back immediate marketing and commercial activity.
It also said it had commenced the furlough process for a limited number of colleagues. In addition, the board and senior executive team have agreed to a voluntary 20% salary reduction for a minimum of three months to help support the business.
Roger White, chief executive, said: “We exited the financial year with improved trading performance and momentum, which continued into the new year. However, the COVID-19 situation is now materially impacting our business.
“There is no immediate certainty around the severity and duration of the impact on our business and, as such, the board is unable to provide guidance for the current financial year at this time.”
The news was revealed in the company’s final results for the year ended 25January 2020.