C&C Group has extended the title-sponsorship agreement between its Irish cider brand Magners and Celtic Rugby for an additional year.

The drinks group said yesterday (22 November), that the renewed contract will see Magners continue as title sponsor of the Magners League, which began last year and is now in its second season, until May 2009. Financial details of the extension were not disclosed.

Magners marketing director Maurice Breen said: "Our first season as tournament sponsor saw the popularity of the Magners League increase on all levels and we are committed to working closely with Celtic Rugby to support their ambitions for the growth and development of the competition. The Magners League has enormous amounts of potential and continues to showcase a fantastic brand of high quality rugby; we are excited about achieving even more with our sponsorship over the next couple of years."

Last month, the troubled Irish drinks group posted a 39% drop in basic adjusted earnings per share to EUR0.175. Operating profit dropped 33%, just above analysts' forecasts of EUR66.8m, to EUR67m. Revenue for the period was flat at EUR375.6m and the group's branded cider volumes declined by 1%. Magners volumes increased by 2% year-on-year and, in the UK, on-trade distribution was 66% in July compared with 67% in February.