(Alliance News) - AG Barr PLC on Thursday announced Euan Sutherland as its next chief executive officer, while also reporting a 26% rise in revenue in its just-completed financial year.

Shares were up 1.6% to 577.00 pence early Thursday in London, outperforming the wider FTSE 250 index, which was down 0.4%.

The Glasgow, Scotland-based maker of soft drinks such as Irn-Bru, Rubicon and Funkin said Sutherland will start on May 1. He stepped down as CEO of Saga PLC earlier this week, having led the provider of travel and insurance services to people aged 50 and over for exactly four years.

Prior to Saga, Sutherland was CEO of clothing retailer Superdry PLC. He also was chief operating officer of DIY retailer Kingfisher PLC and served for eight years as non-executive director of AG Barr competitor Britvic PLC.

At AG Barr, Sutherland will replace Roger White, whose departure set for the end of April was announced back in August. "I am very excited to join AG Barr, which has a unique heritage, strong culture and exceptional brands," Sutherland said.

AG Barr was founded in 1875, making what then were called 'aerated waters' from a factory in Falkirk, Scotland.

The company on Thursday also provided a trading update, saying revenue in the 52 weeks that ended the past Sunday was about GBP400 million, up 26% from GBP317.6 million the year before. Revenue got a lift from the acquisition of Boost Drinks Holdings Ltd for GBP20 million back in December 2022. On a like-for-like basis, revenue was up 7.6%.

Adjusted pretax profit is expected to be GBP49.5 million in financial 2024, up 14% from GBP43.5 million in financial 2023. Barr said this is slightly ahead of market expectations.

"We have positive momentum behind our brands and business as we enter the new financial year," outgoing CEO White said.

"This strong trading performance, coupled with the benefits already being delivered by our margin rebuild programme, has ensured we close the year with a strong profit performance and confidence in the group's long-term growth strategy."

By Tom Waite, Alliance News editor

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