Page last updated at 10:48 GMT, Monday, 22 March 2010

Irn Bru maker AG Barr increases full-year profits

Irn Bru is AG Barr's main brand and remains Scotland's most popular fizzy drink
Irn Bru is Barr's main brand and is Scotland's most popular fizzy drink

The maker of Irn Bru, AG Barr, has reported annual pre-tax profits after exceptionals of £24.5m - a 5.3% rise.

The Cumbernauld-based company also makes St Clements, Tizer and Rubicon.

It said like-for-like sales, excluding the impact of Rubicon fruit juice which it acquired last year, had increased by more than 10%.

AG Barr said despite the difficult economic conditions it had "substantially outperformed the UK soft drinks market".

Sales of Irn Bru were up 5% last year, despite the recession, and by 20% in England and Wales.

Rubicon, which is based in Wembley and sells strongly into the Asian communities in London, helped boost exports by 31%.

Barr said its sales growth in the coming year faced tough comparative performance but sales in the first seven weeks were ahead of the same period last year.

The board has recommended a final dividend of 16.85p per share to give a total dividend for the year of 23.10p.

This represents an increase of 10% compared to the prior year.

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