C&C performance ‘resilient’as Irish market stabilises
Cider sales hit by poor weather in UK but international sales offset decline
C&C said some stability had returned to the Irish market. Photograph: Bryan O’Brien/The Irish Times
Drinks group C&C said its performance last year was “resilient”, despite ongoing difficulty in the UK and Irish markets.
Although net revenue fell by just under 1 per cent to €476.9 million in the year ended February 28th, operating profit before exceptional items increased by 2.4 per cent to €113.9 million, and there was some stability in trading seen in the Irish market in the latter half of the year.
Earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation was up 3.1 per cent year on year at €113.9 million.
The group, which manufactures Bulmers, Magners and Gaymers cider brands and Tennent’s beer, said its core cider markets were challenging, falling by 15 per cent in volume in the UK. However, international volume growth reached 55.2 per cent as acquisitions had an impact, and a strong performance by Tennent’s helped offset weakness.
The company bought US craft cider firm Vermont Hard Cider Company in a deal worth $305 million (€230.9 million) during the period, contributing €1.8 million of operating profit since December 21st. C&C also said it would acquire drinks distributor the Gleeson Group for €58 million, a deal it completed on March 7th.
Chief executive Stephen Glancey said it hadn’t been an easy year for the company’s core cider brands thanks to poor weather and increased competition, but noted there had been some stability in the second half of the year in Ireland.