IRELAND: C&C confident despite Allied uncertainty
The Irish beverage and snacks group C&C said today that its full year turnover and operating profit, on a reported basis, had declined by 3.2% and 10.3% respectively.
The declines reflect the disposal of C&C's Italian subsidiary Barbero 1891 SpA in December 2003 and the impact of currency depreciation, principally the US dollar, on the results of its International Spirits & Liqueurs division.
On a continuing basis turnover grew 4.2% to €750.4m, leading to operating profit growth of 3.5% to €115.1m.
Maurice Pratt, C&C Group CEO said: "C&C is pleased to report progress in line with expectations. Our first annual results as a public, listed company represent a significant milestone in our history. We are equally pleased to report top and bottom line growth in a trading environment characterised by a number of adverse factors. This, we believe, represents a worthy performance and demonstrates the resilience of our business."
The company said that the "favourable prevailing economic conditions in Ireland" are expected to continue.
A statement continued: "The anticipated acceleration in consumer spending growth should provide C&C with a positive operating backdrop for its fiscal 2005/06 full year. The Irish on-trade market is likely to see a continuation of the 2004 rate of decline until the smoking ban impact on prior year comparatives is eliminated in mid 2005 - thereafter, a significantly slower pace of decline is expected."
The company added that fiscal year 2005/06 has started satisfactorily with Cider brands showing good performance in all markets. The London roll out of Magners, which commenced in March 2005, is also proceeding to plan.
However, C&C warned that the recent announcement of a recommended offer by Pernod Ricard S.A. for Allied Domecq plc may, if successfully completed, have an impact on C&C.
Allied Domecq distributes approximately 75% of C&C's International Spirits & Liqueurs volume.
But the statement said: "We are confident that we can secure alternative distributors if necessary. However a change could have a short-term disruptive impact."
It's been a quiet day on the Pernod/Allied Domecq front....
Conflicting reports circulated this weekend over whether Bacardi International is looking to form a counter-bid for Allied Domecq....
Todays press reports into Pernod and Fortune's hopes to buy Allied Domecq warn of possible conflicts and set a date for completion....
Allied Domecq has added a new flavour to its Malibu range. The company said yesterday that it would be launching Malibu Passion Fruit in the US from April 15....
Pernod Ricard and Fortune Brands are considering a US$13 billion bid for Allied Domecq, the world's second-largest spirits company. Were it to take place, Pernod and Fortune would split Allied's brand...
Pernod Ricard and Fortune Brands are hoping to buy Allied Domecq for around 670p per share, according to press reports....
LVMH has said it is not looking to buy Mumm Champagne from Allied Domecq....
The US consumer goods group Fortune Brands has confirmed it is in talks about launching a joint bid with Pernod Ricard for Allied Domecq....
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