Irn-Bru deliveries suffer from HGV driver shortage

AG Barr reveals it is struggling to make deliveries of its drinks due to HGV and supply chain issues.

Irn-Bru deliveries suffer from HGV driver shortage georgeclerk via iStock
Irn Bru maker AG Barr is struggling to make deliveries.

Irn-Bru maker AG Barr has revealed it is struggling to make deliveries of its drinks due to the HGV and supply chain issues.

The company said it continues to “monitor closely” the situation and is hopeful the issues can be resolved soon.

Updating the stock market, bosses said: “In recent weeks we have seen increased challenges across the UK road haulage fleet, associated in part with the Covid-19 pandemic, impacting customer deliveries and inbound materials.

“In addition, the risks associated with the wider labour pool and the current Covid-19 pandemic response are areas we continue to monitor closely.”

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The warnings came as the company revealed sales remain strong despite the pandemic, with growth returning following the reopening of pubs, bars and restaurants.

Bosses said there had been a heavy shift to at-home drinking of their products but with restrictions easing more customers are buying drinks on-the-go and in the hospitality sector.

Its pre-mixed cocktail brand Funkin saw some of the strongest growth in the six months to August 1 compared with a year ago, they added.

At-home cocktail sales rose 114.3% to £10.2m and bar sales soared 229.5% following reopenings.

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In the six-month period, total sales rose 19.5% to £135.3m compared with the same period a year ago.

Pre-tax profits were also up nearly four-fold from £5.1m to £24.4m – due to a £7m writedown on its Strathmore water brand recorded in results last year.

Chief executive Roger White said: “AG Barr is a growth-focused business operating in resilient and growing market categories, with dynamic brands, great people and a strong financial position.

“Our positive first-half performance reflects these fundamentals as well as the encouraging performance of recent innovation launches in both soft drinks and cocktails.”