IRN-Bru maker AG Barr today reported a 20.8% jump in profits as consumers kept their taste for "Scotland’s other national drink".
The Cumbernauld-based company - which also makes St Clements, Tizer and Rubicon fruit juice - posted underlying pre-tax profits of £27.9 million in the year to January 30.
Barr said it had "substantially outperformed the UK soft drinks market", with turnover up 18.7% to £201.4 million, while like-for-like sales grew 10.6%.
The firm added the new financial year had started well with sales ahead of 2009, but warned of challenges in the general economy and consumer outlook.
Barr, which has produced Irn-Bru to a secret recipe for more than 130 years, said revenues from the brand increased 5% last year, helped by strong growth in England and Wales.
Sporting sponsorships helped propel Barr’s key soft drink, with links to the Scottish Football League and Rugby League in England complementing a boost to general marketing spending.
Irn-Bru also focussed on value in the year with promotions and a free glass offer.
The Rubicon brand, which had its first full year under the Barr umbrella, was said to be performing ahead of expectations after being integrated with the wider business.
Overall, the firm said it beat the wider UK soft drinks market, which grew by 1% in volume terms and 2% in value over the period.
"Consumers have continued to purchase a wide repertoire of soft drinks and have maintained a preference for established product groups that deliver both quality and value," the firm said.
Chief executive Roger White added: "Our core business sales performance was excellent and the Rubicon brand has added a new dimension to our business."
But he stressed the business would continue to face an "uncertain economic outlook" and said substantial operational changes would also continue to affect the firm.
Barr has confirmed plans to close it Mansfield site, in a blow to its 100-strong workforce there.
The change - due to take effect early next year - is the result of supply chain restructuring and plans to invest £10 million in additional operating capacity at its Cumbernauld facility.
Barr said as a consequence of the investment plan, it posted exceptional costs of £2.9 million in relation to the Mansfield closure, with a further £500,000 of dual running costs expected in the current financial year.
The company said a further £500,000 in exceptional charges were recorded in the year relating to the Rubicon integration.