C&C Group is increasing sales abroad

C&C Group is increasing sales abroad

C&C Group's growing international business means it is on-course to overtake domestic sales, the group's CFO has said.

Kenny Neison told investors in a call today (15 May) it “won't be too long” before the group sells more beer and cider abroad than in Ireland. In full-year results, released today, international volumes increased by 55%, while, on a constant currency basis, international net sales jumped by 50% and operating profits climbed by 34%.

Part of that growth came from acquisitions such as 2011's Hornsby's purchase, while Neison said next year will see a “big step up again” as Vermont Hard Cider Co - bought last year - is fully integrated. 

Neison said a successful attempt to take its Tennent's brand overseas has also boosted international performance.  

“From a standing start 12 months ago we have managed to sell 32,000 hectolitres in Canada and Italy, which is equal to 7% of Scottish volumes,” Neison said. “What we're perhaps seeing is that the provenance and heritage of Scottish beer is as marketable an asset as with English and Irish ciders.”

However, Neison warned the group is going “back to the drawing board” after its Hornsby's Strawberry & Lime cider extension failed to sell in the US.

“The (Hornsby's) launch has been very much mixed, and a bit disappointing in some of the brand experiments, he said. “We want to bring Hornsby's back into line with the growing US category.”