Irn-Bru

AG Barr is closing its site in Tredegar, which employs 67 people

AG Barr has announced sales growth of 5.6% for the first half of its financial year.

The Irn-Bru brand owner said sales had risen to £135m in the six months to 27 July. The Scottish supplier said the growth was well ahead of the overall soft drinks market – it quoted Nielsen figures indicating the market had grown just 1.2% in the six months to 12 July.

AG Barr said it had increased promotional activity during the period, but that margins remained in line with management’s expectations.

At the same time, AG Barr confirmed that it would be closing its site in Tredegar, which produces drinks cartons for its Rubicon and KA juice brands and employs 67 people.

The factory will close early in 2015 and production of cartons will now move to Milton Keynes, where it is spending £4m on new equipment.

AG Barr said it expected to deliver another year of strong growth. It said it was benefiting from the recent good weather, although year-on-year comparatives were tough.

The Scottish soft drinks supplier said it was making good progress in the recruitment of a new finance director after Alex Short announced that he was leaving to join whisky distiller Edrington. Short is due to leave AG Barr in August.