C&C Group said today (28 February) that it expects sales over the last 12 months to have jumped 25% thanks to the continuing growth of its cider business.

In a trading update, the Irish group said its cider sales rose around 80% thanks to a quadrupling of sales volumes for its Magners brand in the UK.

The company, which will publish its results for the 12 months to 28 February on 9 May, said Irish sales of Bulmers cider - the brand name under which Magners is sold in Ireland - had risen by 5% in volume terms.

Nevertheless, C&C admitted that it did not have the capacity at its site in Clonmel to meet the demand for Magners in the UK during the last six months. The company is expanding the Clonmel site and is looking to double capacity at the facility over the next 12 months.

C&C said sales from its spirits and liqueurs business are expected to rise 7% due to "double-digit" growth from Tullamore Dew Irish whiskey and "a solid recovery" for Carolans cream liqueur.

C&C also produces soft drinks including Ballygowan bottled water. It said revenues from that side of the business are set to be down 1% due to the loss of the Irish distribution rights to the Danone water portfolio.