C&C half-year results hit targets
Stronger Irish demand lifts revenues for drinks group as it reports growth of 27.8 per cent
Sales of Bulmers in Ireland helped C&C grow its revenues in the first half of the year. Photograph: Bryan O’Brien / THE IRISH TIMES
Drings group C&C delivered revenue growth of 27.8 per cent in the first six months of its financial year, in line with market expectations,driven by an improved trading performance in Ireland.
In the six months to August 31st, revenues grew to € 336.7 million, while operating profit increased by 7.9 per cent to € 71.1 million. On a full-year basis, C&C is forecasting operating profit in the range of € 125 million to € 132 million. The proposed interim dividend is 4.3 cent per share, up by 7.5 per cent.
In Ireland, sales grew by 2.7 per cent and the Bulmers brand outperformed the broader market, Stephen Glancey, group said, adding that “encouragingly”, the on-trade channel outperformed the off-trade for the first time in seven years.
The integration of the Gleeson business is progressing to plan, Mr Glancey said, adding that C&C is also investing in a craft brewery on its site in Clonmel to participate in the “medium term opportunity presented by Irish craft beers”.
In the UK, C&C said that its Tennent’s business is “performing well”, providing a degree of balance to a competitive UK cider market.
“While Magners volume performance improved in the second quarter, fundamentals in the UK cider market remain challenging,” Mr Glancey said. Cider sales fell by 14 per cent in the first six months of the year in the UK.
Looking to 2014, Mr Glancey said it would be a “transition period” for C&C.
“Integration and performance of recently acquired businesses is a core focus. We are transitioning to a multi-beverage model in our domestic markets and continue to position the business to capitalise on international category growth. We will focus on continued operating efficiency, deliver earnings growth and enjoy the benefits of a strong balance sheet. We are pleased to re-affirm guidance to deliver full year earnings growth of between 10 per cent and 16 per cent, implying an operating profit range of € 125 million to € 132 million.”