C&C brewing up production deals in US

Bulmers/Magners cidermaker interested in providing more loans to more Irish pubs

C&C has blamed a decline in revenue on temporary “disruption” to its US business as it beds down a sales link-up with Pabst Brewing Company

C&C has blamed a decline in revenue on temporary “disruption” to its US business as it beds down a sales link-up with Pabst Brewing Company

 

C&C plans to brew cider and beer for its rivals at its underutilised plant in the US as it looks for ways to plug a slide in its revenues there. The company has blamed the decline on temporary “disruption” to its US business as it beds down a sales link-up with Pabst Brewing Company.

As it announced annual results on Wednesday, C&C wrote down the value of its US arm by €129 million after a one-third drop in North American revenues.

Speaking afterwards, Joris Brams, who heads up its international division, said C&C’s plant would be “attractive to people who want to produce with us”. He said the Magners maker could brew cider or beer for companies in the US, and that it expected to have a number of deals ready in the near future.

“We have spare capacity. It would be a way to get more profits in the system [while it waits for its Pabst link-up to settle down].”

Stephen Glancey, the chief executive, said C&C was interested in providing more loans to more Irish pubs as an alternative to bank finance.

Pub loan book

He said the group has a pub loan book of about €60 million, although most of that was concentrated in the Britain and the North. However, it has recently provided finance to pubs in the Republic, such as Mantra in Maynooth.

Mr Glancey said such deals were attractive because C&C, as a condition of giving finance, could ask for more of its draught products to be stocked in the pub.

The launch by Heineken of Orchard Thieves has brought competition for the company’s Bulmers’ on-trade draught sales in Ireland.

In its results C&C reported resilience and growth in its core cider brands, such as Magners, although weakness in the US and currency difficulties due to Brexit pushed it into recording a net loss of €72.9 million.