Increased marketing investment for Irn Bru helped AG Barr to double-digit hikes in both profits and sales over the past six months.

Profits at the soft drinks group were up almost 19% to £16m, while sales for the period to 31 July increased by around 14% to £119.2m. Sales of the Rubicon juice brand, which AG Barr acquired in 2008, were up more than a third (37%) over the period.

Chief executive Roger White said the performance marked “a very positive start to the 2010-11 financial year”.

“We have achieved sales growth well in advance of the market for our core brands and during the period have further increased our marketing investment,” he said.

“As planned, we have delivered significant operational changes across the summer, which has proved to be testing. However, I am pleased to report good progress across our supply chain project and our production investment.”

He said the company was on track to meet its sales targets for the full year.

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