AG Barr raises glass to Irn-Bru Commonwealth Games success

Drinks maker AG Barr has credited its Commonwealth Games sponsorship marketing activity for helping to boost revenue and profit in the first half of the year.

Video: Irn-Bru 2014 Commonwealth Games TV ad

Revenue rose 5.4 per cent year on year to £135.7m in the six months to 27 July, driven by a 6.2 per cent increase in the volumes of drinks sold, with the Strathmore water brand – supplied to athletes at the Games – contributing “significantly” to this performance.

Profit before tax and exceptional items grew 11 per cent to £18.4m in the period.

AG Barr says its brand building activities during the Games for its Irn-Bru, Rubicon, Barr and Strathmore brands, continued to build long term consumer loyalty and increased levels of awareness.

The sponsorship activation was led by the Irn-Bru brand, which ran a “Born to Support” multimedia campaign before and during the Games. The brand was also featured heavily in the opening ceremony, alongside other Scottish brands such as Tunnock’s Teacakes.

AG Barr says the Irn-Bru brand received “unrivalled media coverage” during the event, which helped reinforce its “unique” status in the category when the national media focus was on Glasgow.

Innovation also played an important role in AG Barr’s first half performance, the company says. It developed and launched a number of new products in the period including Rubicon Coconut Water, Irn-Bru ice cream and Barr Xtra Cola.

Roger White, AG Barr chief executive, says: “We have delivered strong, balanced growth across our core brands in the year to date, with volume growth well ahead of the total market. We have traded well across all channels and have benefited from the excellent execution of our Commonwealth Games sales and marketing plans.

“Market conditions across the soft drinks category and general consumer environment are challenging, however we plan to maintain our increased levels of investment in our brands, people and assets across the rest of the year and we remain confident in the long term potential of the business.”