In a trading update for the 26 weeks ended 25 July 2020, the company said it had ended the 2019/2020 financial year with an encouraging sales performance. This continued into the first eight weeks of the new financial year, it added.
However, after the UK-wide lockdown began on 23 March 2020, it entered a period of significant trading volatility, starting with consumer stockpiling, then shifting towards larger, less frequent take-home purchasing. It said it was also “exposed” to the closure of the hospitality sector, as well as a material reduction in the out-of-home consumption of soft drinks.
The company added that sales did benefit from the favourable weather during the lockdown. And it claimed that, since lockdown measures began to ease, sales in the hospitality and on-the-go consumption segments had started to recover slowly.
A G Barr expected revenue for the 26 weeks ended 25 July to be c.£113m, an estimated 8% decline on the prior year (2019: £122.5m). For the three-month period from April to June, revenue declined by 12% against the same period in the prior year.
Chief executive Roger White said: “I am incredibly proud of how our teams across the business have responded to the COVID-19 pandemic. These have been difficult times for everyone. However, despite the challenging environment, we have maintained our quality and service standards, thanks to the dedication and adaptability of our people. We are a profitable and cash-generative business in a robust drinks sector, and I am confident that our business will continue to prove its resilience for the balance of the year and beyond.”