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Last Updated: Wednesday, 30 March, 2005, 17:02 GMT 18:02 UK
Barr reveals 17m relocation plan
Barr's Irn-Bru has proved popular in the fizzy drinks market
Scottish drinks giant AG Barr has announced a 17m drive to condense its distribution, administration and sales operations from six sites into one.

The Irn-Bru producer's plans include relocating its Glasgow head office to the existing site in Cumbernauld.

Chief executive Roger White said he believed "a relatively small" number of job losses would result.

AG Barr employs about half of its 1,000 staff in Scotland, at sites including Falkirk and Edinburgh.

The relocation is designed to save the firm up to 2.5m a year.

The announcement came as the firm disclosed a 13% increase in profits to 15.6m during the year to 29 January, despite difficult trading caused by last year's poor weather.

The core part of the business is still fizzy drinks
Roger White
Barr's chief executive

Trading in the first eight weeks of the new financial year had been in line with expectations.

The group said that despite a fall in sales, the soft drinks market was still expected to show long-term growth.

Mr White said demand for healthier drinks and changing consumer tastes contributed to a strong performance by its Simply range of orange, apple, blackcurrant and peach drinks.

Centenary celebration

However, he said this was still just a small part of the business, adding: "The core part of the business is still fizzy drinks. We still think they will be the core of the business for some time."

Core brands such as Irn-Bru and Tizer performed well as sales increased by 3% on a like-for-like basis to 127.2m.

Irn-Bru, which celebrated its centenary in 2001, is famed for its hangover cure and was created in Glasgow by Andrew Greig Barr, one of three brothers from a Falkirk family which came to dominate the Scottish soft drinks trade.

In 1999, the fizzy drink was included in the prestigious 900-page Oxford Companion to Food.

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