AG Barr, the maker of Irn-Bru, has posted a 3.5% rise in sales for the six months to the end of July to £123m, despite a “particularly poorly” performance by the soft drinks sector in June. The company said that promotions had helped increase volume within the soft drinks sector by 1% and its value by 6% during the six months. However, it admitted that the soft drinks market had performed ‘particularly poorly’ in June, with volume declining by 9%, and value falling by 3% due to poor weather and “difficult” trading. It said that operationally it had also been impacted by delays to the manufacturing upgrade of its Cumbernauld-based production plant, but expected this expansion to be finished over the coming weeks. In a trading statement, the company said: “The market we operate in remains volatile. However, the soft drinks market remains in growth and AG Barr has the proven strategy, brands and executional capability to be successful in its market. “We have offset significant raw material cost rises by focusing our efforts on driving efficiency in order to avoid passing on very significant price increases to customers and consumers. “With recent operational challenges behind us, we look forward to the second half with cautious optimism and the full year remains on track to meet our expectations.” The company announced earlier this year that it would invest around £15m in marketing and advertising as it looked to further expand its presence in the UK.