C&C Group said today (8 July) that its overall performance for the first four months of its current financial year was in line with its expectations.

"This supports the board's belief that the group's 2005/6 financial outcome will be in line with its current guidance which is for earnings to broadly match 2004/5," a statement said.

However, the Irish food and drinks group warned that the proposed acquisition of Allied Domecq by Pernod Ricard will involve change to the international distribution of C&C's spirits & liqueur brands and is also likely to result in some or all of the agreements for C&C's distribution of Allied brands in Ireland not being renewed when they expire on 31 January 2006.

"The group is currently assessing the range of options for the international distribution of its spirits & liqueur brands and while there may be a short-term impact during the transition to alternative distributors, C&C is confident of its ability to put in place satisfactory alternative arrangements," the statement said.

The company said that a key feature of the group's plan for 2005/6 is the roll-out of Magners cider in the greater London area. This commenced in March 2005 and is progressing satisfactorily, C&C said.

In Ireland, C&C said that positive consumer sentiment has not yet been reflected in the soft drinks and snacks markets. The company added that it remains focused on reducing costs and enhancing efficiencies in these businesses.