Irn-bru maker A.G. Barr sees lower annual revenue on lockdown hit

FILE PHOTO: A man drinks from an Irn Bru bottle in Perthshire, Scotland, Britain May 10, 2018. REUTERS/Russell Cheyne

(Reuters) - A.G. Barr BAG.L, best known for Scottish fizzy drink Irn-Bru, said on Tuesday it expected revenue to fall by up to 15% this year, while reporting a recovery in some sectors, including hospitality, as coronavirus curbs eased in recent weeks.

The FTSE-250-listed soft drinks maker said the outlook was based on the company’s assumption that the UK would not enter into a further significant period of lockdown, along with estimated adjustment for Rockstar energy drink no longer being part of its portfolio for the final quarter.

Also, A.G. Barr is unlikely to see an impact from the government’s recent measures to tackle obesity, including banning online and TV adverts for junk food before 9.00 p.m., as the company has already been reducing sugar in its drinks.

It expects revenue to be around 8% lower at 113 million pounds, for the 26 weeks ended July 25, due to the lockdown that had shut restaurants, bars, cinemas and other public places. Its Funkin cocktail mixer brand has also been materially impacted.

Shares in the company were up 1.6% at 440 pence in early trade.

“Following the UK-wide commencement of lockdown on March 23, we entered a period of significant trading volatility, initially characterised by consumer stockpiling and then a general shift towards larger, less frequent take-home purchasing,” the Cumbernauld-headquartered company said.

A.G. Barr's forecast is in line with Coca-Cola Co KO.N, the world's largest soda maker, which said last week demand for its beverages was improving after reporting a 28% slump in sales in the "most challenging" quarter of the year.

Reporting by Tanishaa Nadkar in Bengaluru; Editing by Rashmi Aich