Roger White is in the final weeks of his long tenure as chief executive of AG Barr and it is fair to say he will leave with the company in a strong position, albeit those employees the soft drinks maker is about to make redundant may disagree.

Cumbernauld-based Barr was given the thumbs up by City analysts today after reporting better than expected profits for 2023 and signalling the prospect of improving margins, as the cost pressures which have beset the company in the last couple of years begin to ease.

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Mr White, who will be replaced in May by former Superdry and Co-op boss Euan Sutherland, was characteristically cautious when asked by The Herald whether the cost picture was improving, explaining that the situation remained far from “plain sailing” on the inflation front. But he did report that “some of the big volatility has come out of the market”, adding that the most recent inflation figures have given rise to hope that “things are moving in the right direction”.

Barr said in its results that its plan to rebuild margins was “well under way” and that the momentum its brands were building towards the end of the financial year was being maintained in the new one, noting that it was confident of further growth in revenue and profits this year.

Its update brought an enthusiastic response from the market, as analysts welcomed the impact being made by the margin rebuild programme as well as the in-sourcing of recently acquired brands Boost and Rio. Shares in the company had risen by more than 7% by 3.30pm.

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However, all this is likely to provide little cheer to the near 200 members of staff who faced the prospect of losing their jobs as the company reviews the sales and distribution operations of Barr Soft Drinks, and fully integrates Boost into the group, a move which will lead to the closure of the energy drink brand’s office in Leeds.

Barr, which is now in a consultation process over the proposed cuts, hopes to redeploy some of the people affected in different roles.