- Full-year sales fall 56.1% to EUR736.9m (US$900m)
- Matthew Clark, Bibendum sales plunge 69% to EUR337.8m
- Group records EUR104.5m loss
- Security review launched after cyberattack
The Magners cider brand owner said today that sales in the 12 months to the end of February dropped by 56.1%, a performance blamed predominantly on the coronavirus pandemic that has heavily impacted the on-premise channel in Europe. Prior to the pandemic, about 80% of Ireland-based C&C’s sales were in the hospitality sector. The sales decline led to a EUR104.5m (US$128m) net loss for the C&C, compared to a EUR9.1m gain in the previous year.
Meanwhile, a cyberattack in April on C&C's UK distribution units, Matthew Clark and Bibendum, has forced the company to upgrade its digital security. In an update on the attack, which shut down computer systems, C&C has commenced a review of its information security and cyber preparedness.
In the results announcement, management said the group's fiscal-2021 had "presented an extraordinary set of circumstances" for the alcohol industry and that C&C had used the year to switch focus to off-premise channels as the hospitality sector closed. It also looked to trim costs - as well as selling off US business Vermont Hard Cider, the company closed four warehouse depots in Scotland and opened a single site in Edinburgh. The overhauled Scottish logistics chain is set to be fully operational by June.
On a regional level, sales from C&C's UK operations fell by 36.4% in the 12 months. Ireland sales were down by 26.6% in the same period.
The COVID impact was felt worst by Matthew Clark and Bibendum, the two on-premise distribution divisions taken over by C&C in 2018. Combined sales from the pair were down by 69%, and the units made a EUR44.5m (US$54.3m) loss compared to a EUR28.2m profit in FY2020.
Details on how last month's cyberattack has affected sales were not disclosed.
Looking ahead, C&C Group expressed confidence in emerging from COVID "stronger, more streamlined and primed to deliver".
CEO David Forde
"We look to FY2022 with optimism and C&C continuing to play an integral role in the UK and Ireland drinks market with our brand and distribution assets appreciated by consumers, customers and brand owners alike."