IRELAND: C&C Group bets on sunshine as cider sales lift

By | 9 July 2009

C&C Group is to spend an extra EUR8m (US$11m) to promote its cider brands after good weather lifted the firm's net sales in the first four months of its fiscal year.

Net sales rose by 3% for the four months to the end of June, on a constant currency basis and compared to the same period last year, C&C Group said in a trading update yesterday (8 July).

Good summer weather over the last month helped the Ireland-based firm's cider sales to rise by 3% for the period, following around two years of consistent decline. Cider volumes still fell by 4% for the four-month period in the UK, the firm said.

"Following four months of encouraging trading in the cider division, the group now has a greater degree of visibility in and confidence about its plans for the current financial year," said C&C Group, which owns Magners in the UK and Bulmers in Ireland.

"As a consequence, and as previously outlined, the group intends to commit up to an additional EUR8m of brand investment following recent good weather conditions."

Bulmers and Magners Pear cider, launched in Ireland and UK respectively during the period, have performed well, C&C said.

While cider sales were revived, C&C's spirits and liqueurs business, which includes Carolans, Tullamore Dew whiskey and Frangelico, saw sales drop by 12% over the four months due to destocking in all markets.

In its outlook, C&C Group said that full-year operating profits are expected to be at the top end of the firm's guidance range of EUR77m to EUR82m. Cider constitutes around 80% of group profits.

Earlier this year, C&C said that it would cut more than 140 jobs from its Bulmers operations in Ireland.

Sectors: Beer & cider

Companies: C&C Group

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