C&C hails ‘encouraging signs’ but warns of continued uncertainty

Delay in full reopening of hospitality sector leads to ‘cautious optimism’

C&C manufactures and distributes branded beer, cider, wine, spirits and soft drinks across the UK and Ireland.

C&C manufactures and distributes branded beer, cider, wine, spirits and soft drinks across the UK and Ireland.

 

Drinks group C&C said there were encouraging signs of recovery in the market as the loosening of Covid-19 restrictions saw outdoor hospitality reopen, but warned of continued uncertainty as the full reopening of indoor services was delayed.

The group, which manufactures and distributes branded beer, cider, wine, spirits and soft drinks across the United Kingdom and Ireland, said good weather had been aiding trade in recent weeks as businesses opened up, although volumes had been affected.

C&C said it recorded a modest trading profit in May, with this improving further in June as the restrictions were progressively eased.

“While still in the early stage of reopening in our core markets, we have been encouraged by the way in which trade has recovered in the UK since the gradual reopening from April 2021 and in Ireland from June 7th 2021 as outdoor hospitality reopened. However, restrictions in both markets remain, with the timing and nature of further easing still uncertain,” the group said in a statement.

C&C said in the week ended June 27th, it had delivered to 82 per cent of the outlets in the comparative week in 2019. It is set to hold its agm later on Thursday.

“Despite restrictions still in place and confirmed delays to full reopening, we remain cautiously optimistic about the gradual recovery of the hospitality sector in our core markets of the UK and Ireland, and we look forward to continuing to support our customers as restrictions are removed,” said David Forde, chief executive of C&C Group.

“As we navigate through this period, our focus is to continue to build and develop our brand and system strength, which underpins C&C’s position as the leading brand-led distributor in the UK and Irish drinks market. Our recent successful capital raise has strengthened the balance sheet and positions the group to take advantage of opportunities to strengthen and grow our business as we return to a more normalised trading environment.”