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UPDATE 1-Irn Bru-maker Barr takes pandemic hit

Tue, 22nd Sep 2020 07:50

(Adds details on the results, background)

Sept 22 (Reuters) - A.G. Barr, famous for Scottish
fizzy drink Irn-Bru, posted a near 63% slump in half-year
profits on Tuesday, as this year's coronavirus restrictions
weakened sales in pubs and other outlets.

The UK government warned on Monday that pubs and restaurants
across Britain could again face greater restrictions to tackle
another jump in COVID-19 cases, threatening another blow to the
hospitality industry and its suppliers.

"While UK-wide lockdown measures have been gradually lifted,
there remains a continued high degree of uncertainty associated
with further potential COVID-19 outbreaks, such as significant
localised lockdowns, and the resulting impacts," A.G. Barr said.

The company said sales of Irn Bru itself grew marginally,
while reporting an overall 8% slide in revenues to 113.2 million
pounds for the period.

Even assuming that the UK does not enter a further
significant period of lockdown, the Rockstar and Rubicon maker
said that it expects full year revenue for the year ending
January 2021 to be in the region of 12-15% below last year.

It had said in July it expected revenue to fall by up to 15%
this year.

The Cumbernauld-headquartered company added its dividend
position remains under review but that it expects to resume
payments next year.

The soft drinks maker said profit before tax fell to 5.1
million pounds for the six months ended July 2020, compared with
13.5 million pounds a year earlier.
(Reporting by Tanishaa Nadkar and Aakash Jagadeesh Babu in
Bengaluru; editing by Patrick Graham)

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