Weak cider sales hit C&C revenue


Irish drinks group C&C expects a drop in revenue for the year just ended of about 9 per cent.

C&C today said its performance for the year to the end of February was in line with its outlook given in January when C&C predicted a drop of about 10 per cent in full-year revenue.

The group said revenue at its core cider division, which also makes Bulmers cider in Ireland, had fallen by about 10 per cent after a drop in sales volume of 15 per cent for Magners and 4 per cent for Bulmers.

C&C also said on Friday that its operating margin would decline by less than 10 percentage points.

The company is predicting "modest" growth in the year ahead provided bad weather does not again hit sales of its Magners cider brand

C&C said it planned to maintain its final dividend at the previous year's level of 15 cents per share, however, and predicted improved trading in the year ahead.

Preliminary full year results will be announced on May 8th, 2008.