● Profit on ordinary activities, before tax and exceptional items, increased by 10.0% to £41.9m (2014: £38.1m)
● Total turnover increased by 2.7% to £260.9m (2014: £254.1m); stripping out the impact of the loss of the Orangina brand, turnover increased by 3.3%
● All core brands - IRN-BRU, Barr, Rubicon and Strathmore - grew, outperforming the market, with particularly strong growth coming from the stills segment driven by Strathmore water.
● Robust financial position
○ *ROCE increased to 24.0%
○ Substantial *underlying free cash flow of £40.6m
○ Net cash position at period end (2014: £2.1m net debt)
○ *Underlying earnings per share increased by 4.6% to 28.25p (2014: 27.02p)
● Investment in assets, infrastructure and systems across the Group progressing well
● Acquisition of Funkin Limited completed in February 2015, providing entry point to new growth category
● Proposed final dividend of 9.01p per share (2014: 8.19p) to give a proposed total dividend for the year of 12.12p per share, an increase of 10.0% over the prior year
Roger White, Chief Executive, commented:
"We have delivered an excellent financial performance in difficult market conditions over the past 12 months, whilst continuing to build the platform required for sustained and profitable long-term growth. Looking forward we will continue our approach of tight cost control, rigorous cash management and focus on execution whilst continuing to invest for the long-term in our brands, assets and people.
Overall market conditions are expected to remain challenging. The U.K. soft drinks market is currently experiencing a period of price deflation which will, if sustained, make it more difficult for many businesses to deliver the top line growth of recent years. Whilst our year has started slowly, reflecting tough comparative trading and promotional phasing, we are confident that our management actions, combined with our proven business model, will enable us to further unlock the significant potential that A.G. BARR offers its shareholders this year and into the future."