FY profits are down but ahead of guidance at C&C Group

FY profits are down but ahead of guidance at C&C Group

C&C Group has reported a slide in full-year profits, despite an increase in sales in the period.

The Ireland-based alcoholic drinks firm, which has moved more in the direction of long alcoholic beverages of late, said today (25 May) that operating profits before exceptional items for the 12 months to the end of February came in 10.9% down on the same period a year earlier, totalling EUR89.5m (US$109.2m).

Sales, however, climbed by 10.6% to EUR568.8m.

While volumes from C&C's cider division recorded a 5.9% rise, the spirits & liqueurs unit, which is set to be sold off to William Grant & Sons soon, saw volumes decline by 4.1%, with volumes recovering in the second half of the year following a 15% decline in the first half.

Despite the drop in profits, company CEO John Dunsmore pronounced himself “pleased to report an operating profit performance modestly ahead of stated guidance”.

“The performance of the underlying and the acquired businesses, together with identified synergy benefits, support our current expectation of earnings growth for FY11,” he added.

In the last 12 months, C&C has acquired the Tennent's beer brand from Anheuser-Busch InBev and Gaymer Cider Co from Constellation Brands.

“Our intention to focus strategically on cider and long alcohol drinks is clarified further by our agreement to sell the group’s Spirits & Liqueurs business for a total consideration of EUR300m,” the company noted.

“The group’s strong underlying free cash flow generation and balance sheet strength will support the continuing development of a cider-led drinks portfolio,” concluded Dunsmore.

To read the official release, click here.