Job losses as AG Barr loses its fizz

AG Barr is to shed 90 jobs, yielding an estimated annual saving of £3m, as it looks to get leaner ahead of the proposed tax on sugary drinks.

The jobs, around 10% of its workforce, will go from the company’s commercial, supply chain and central office areas. The restructuring is expected to take place before the end of the current financial year and will cost in the region of £4m.

The announcement comes as the soft drinks manufacturer posted first half results which saw a 0.5% rise in profits before exceptional items to £17m. This, for the six months to 30th July, was set against a 2.8% drop in sales to £125.6m.

Roger White, AG Barr’s Chief Executive, described the figures as “solid”, while blaming poor weather, price deflation in the UK market and a “challenging” customer and consumer environment for the falling sales.

The company said it would “participate fully” in the consultation phase for the new tax, which it sees as an “unnecessary measure”.

“We believe this proposed tax is a punitive and unnecessary distortion to competition in the UK,” said a spokesperson for AG Barr.