C&C's Irish performance improves
Drinks group C&C said trading performance in Ireland improved in the third quarter, with volume growing after a weak summer trading period.
In an interim management statement, the company said it still expected operating profit to be around €112 million, despite the challenging trading and economic environment.
Volumes rose by 1.8 per cent over the three-month period, in what the firm described as a “significant improvement” on the first half of the year.
“As anticipated, trading conditions stabilised following an unseasonably wet summer period and volumes benefited from trade buy-in ahead of the December duty rise,” C&C said in its interim management statement.
Cider volumes were up 0.9 per cent and beer rose by 7 per cent in the Irish market.
However, pricing pressures continued in the quarter, and volume continued to grow in the off-trade at the expense of the on-trade. Net revenue fell 3.5 per cent over the three-month period.
In the UK, cider volumes declines 11.9 per cent in the three months to November, with revenue down 19.1 per cent. Volume was 11.7 per cent lower in Magners, with a 12.3 per cent decline in Gaymers. The figures represented an improvement on the first six months of the fiscal year.
The Tennent’s brand showed a volume decline of 3.6 per cent, but revenues rose 7.5 per cent, and performance remained “solid”.
On the international market, beer and cider volumes rose 28.1 per cent in the third quarter.
The group is looking ahead to further growth, with the acquisition of drinks supplier Gleeson Group the latest deal expected to broaden C&C’s scope. During the period under review, from September 1st, the group also acquired the Vermont Hard Cider Company (VHCC), which is expected to contribute €1.5 million in earnings before interest and tax in the period to February 28th 2013.