IRELAND: C&C weathers smoking ban
C&C Group, Ireland's leading manufacturer, marketer and distributor of branded beverages and snacks, today announced its first interim results since it floated on the Irish Stock Exchange.
C&C is reported operating profit of €64.2m and adjusted earnings per share of 14.6 cents for the six months ended 31 August 2004, increases of 6% and 27% respectively. The company generated free cash flow of €52.3m in the period.
Maurice Pratt, group chief executive officer, commented: "The trading environment, for the period in review, was characterised by a number of adverse factors including, unseasonal summer weather, a mixed tourist season and the introduction of the Irish smoking ban. Against this background C&C's results demonstrate its defensive growth characteristics and resilience and its cash flow generation capability."
Tony O'Brien, group chairman, concluded: "Our first reported results as a public, listed company represent a milestone in our history. C&C is pleased to report progress in line with expectations. Our objective is to continue to establish a track record of performance and, in time, to demonstrate the unique characteristics of the C&C Group.
"The favourable prevailing economic conditions in Ireland are expected to continue throughout the remainder of fiscal year 2005. While the impact of the smoking ban, over the winter months, is unpredictable, the group believes that it is on track to deliver earnings in line with current market expectations."
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