Barr(A.G.) PLC - Trading Update
We are pleased to report a continued positive trading performance across the period with revenue expected to be c.£277m, up c.5% on the prior year (2017/18 : £264.1m1).
Strong trading execution across our core brands and the continued success of our key innovation have led to further market share volume gains in a UK soft drinks market which saw volume up 3.0% while value increased by 8.0% (Source : IRI Marketplace 48 weeks to 30 December 2018).
The impact of the Soft Drinks Industry Levy has been evident across the UK soft drinks market with value growth significantly outstripping volume in the period. Having taken the opportunity to drive our volume growth during this period, we expect to return to a more value-led trading strategy in 2019.
Throughout the year we have remained committed to investing across our brands, assets and people which, while supporting our growth, has had a moderate impact on operating margin.
Our tight control on costs has been maintained and our balance sheet remains robust. The £30m share repurchase programme has continued and we now expect it to complete during the course of 2019, slightly later than previously indicated.
For the financial year ending 26 January 2019, we remain confident of delivering profit ahead of the prior year and in line with the Board's expectations.
Looking ahead, the current political and economic uncertainty in the UK looks set to continue. For the soft drinks industry, further regulatory intervention is on the horizon and consumer dynamics continue to evolve. Our strong and flexible business model, our portfolio of differentiated and growing brands and our well-invested and efficient asset base give us confidence for continued profitable growth as we enter a new financial year.
A.G. BARR intends to announce its full year financial results on 26 March 2019.