IRN-BRU sales have suffered a “significant” drop in the coronavirus pandemic with producer AG Barr warning its financial results will be hit by fewer impulse purchases.

The Cumbernauld-based firm warned it expects there to be “a material adverse impact” to its financial performance for the year to January 2021 from Covid-19. Around 40% of its sales are impulse buys, often from newsagents or convenience stores, which it said had dried up.

The closure of pubs, bars and restaurants and restrictions on shopping have also contributed to the decline.

Although take-home sales have been more resilient, the company warned they too have been “volatile” since movement restrictions came into play on March 23.

Senior executives and directors have taken a 20% pay cut for at least three months and a “limited number of colleagues” have been furloughed, although the company’s factories in Cumbernauld and Milton Keynes are still open.

Chief executive Roger White has a basic salary of £451,000. He said: “It is our aim to maintain supply into our customers for as long as there is demand in the market and as long as government guidance permits.”

Shares in AG Barr lost 15p, or nearly 3%, to 494p.

Barr’s results for the year to January 25 showed sales of Irn-Bru had returned to growth during the final quarter of its financial year.