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    New CEO announced as A.G. Barr reports upbeat result

    REUTERS/Russell Cheyne//File Photo

    A.G. Barr, the owner of brands such as IRN-BRU and Rubicon, has appointed consumer goods industry veteran Euan Sutherland as its next Chief Executive with effect from May 1.

    Sutherland will replace Roger White, who announced last August that he would be stepping down at the end of April after leading the business for over two decades. He will remain available until the end of July to support the leadership transition.

    He was most recently CEO of Saga but has previously been CEO of Superdry and the Co-op Group, having served as COO at Kingfisher. Sutherland also has a background in FMCG brands, including Mars and Coca-Cola, plus eight years on the board of Britvic as a non-executive director.

    Mark Allen, Chair of A.G. Barr, commented, “I am delighted that Euan is joining A.G. Barr. He has substantial experience across several consumer-facing businesses and will be a strong addition to the Board. He is well placed to lead A.G. Barr through the next exciting phase of its development and to ensure the continued long term success of the business.”

    Separately, the drinks maker posted an upbeat trading statement covering the year to 28 January 2024.

    A.G. Barr’s total revenue is expected to be around £400m, representing 26 per cent year-on-year growth and 7.6 per cent on a like-for-like basis, excluding the contribution from the Boost Drinks business it acquired in December 2022.

    As a result, the group is now forecasting a 13.8 per cent rise in annual profit to around £49.5m, slightly ahead of previous market expectations, partly helped by strength in its speciality coffee business and price hikes.

    In soft drinks, the group noted that inflation in the wider market had continued to drive value growth but impacted volumes. However, A.G. Barr’s brand-building and pricing strategy was said to have delivered both value and volume growth.

    In its FUNKIN Cocktails unit, the group experienced a strong fourth quarter, particularly in the off-trade, while the on-trade channel remained “variable” as venues experienced reduced footfall.

    A.G. Barr noted that it continued to experience cost inflation, albeit at a less significant level than in the prior year.

    It added, “Our supply chain capital investment programme is on track, supporting the in-sourcing of the Boost and Rio brands. The associated operational leverage and synergy benefits are supporting the acceleration of our margin rebuild programme.”

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