Cider took a hit in the UK

Cider took a hit in the UK

C&C Group today (15 May) announced its 2012 full-year results. Here is a look at the results in the company's regions and from its main brands.

Regions

Net sales in Ireland fell by 9.1%, while operating profits declined 11.9%. In the second half, operating profits were stable year-on-year, C&C Group said. Net cider sales were down 10.8% in the year with volumes accounting for 3.2% of the decline and price/mix a further 7.6%. The group’s beer portfolio grew 11.1% in a beer market that declined by 2% in the same period, C&C said. Volumes of Tennent’s Lager and Caledonia Smooth grew 25.6%. Beer now represents 16.3% of the portfolio volumes in Ireland, the group said.

The UK's cider category preformed badly, affected by poor weather throughout the year, C&C said. Volumes dropped by 15%, while sales plunged 20% and operating profits 16%. This was against a backdrop of a 2% volumes fall in the industry, its first volumes decline in almost a decade, C&C said. 

The International business unit posted volumes growth of 55.2% as Hornsby’s, Tennent’s and Woodchuck contributed alongside Magners. Excluding the two months worth of contribution from Woodchuck, volumes were up 34.8% and sales increased 30.2%. International volumes accounted for 9.6% of total C&C branded volume and 14.5% of cider. “A full year contribution from Woodchuck in the next financial year will, for the first time, give the international long-alcoholic drinks business unit meaningful scale within C&C,” the group said.

Brands

Bulmers enjoyed good market share growth in the Irish off-trade, C&C said. Pricing in the Irish on-trade was level for Bulmers. In the off-trade, promotional activity and the growth of C&C's value cider brands reduced average pricing, albeit by a lower amount than in previous years, the group said.

Magners saw UK volumes decline 13.9% as the European Football Championships and Olympic Games failed to deliver any uplift. In contrast to last year, Magners saw a significant reduction of share across grocery promotional deals, impacting volumes negatively through the year, C&C said. Trading began to stabilise toward the end of the financial year. C&C said it will invest in a new advertising campaign for the brand this financial year.

The Gaymers portfolio, including Gaymers Original, Blackthorn and Olde English, declined by 16.4% as standard cider lost ground to premium cider and fruit flavoured variants. The launch of Gaymers fruits “enjoyed some success”, the group said.

A Tennent's UK volumes fall of 5.9% was in line with the market but the substitution of low margin volumes with more profitable channels deals contributed to net sales growth of 6.8% for the year, C&C said. The group launched premium variants of the Tennent’s brand into a number of international markets. Some 20,000 hectolitres of Tennent’s Lager was shipped into Italy and the growth of the brand in Canada “impressed”, C&C said. International volumes of Tennent’s is about 32,000 hectolitres, or 10% of total international volumes.

For a full round-up of just-drinks' coverage of C&C Group's FY performance, click here.