• Six-month net profits soar to EUR276.1m from EUR51.9m
  • Spirits & liqueurs sale to William Grant contributes EUR221.8m to profits
  • Sales leap by 68% thanks to Tennent's and Gaymer Cider Co
C&C Group saw Magners volumes rise in the UK for the first time since 2007

C&C Group saw Magners volumes rise in the UK for the first time since 2007

C&C Group has posted marked leaps in sales and profits for the first half of its current fiscal year, driven almost entirely by the acquisitions of the Tennent's beer brand and The Gaymer Cider Co in the last 12 months.

The Irish-based long alcoholic drink producer, which sold off its spirits business to William Grant & Sons earlier this year, said today (12 October) that net profits for the six months to the end of August came in at EUR276.1m, more than five times higher than the EUR51.9m posted a year earlier. Net profits were boosted by the sale of its spirits and liqueurs unit in April, to the tune of EUR221.8m.

Net sales, meanwhile, were up by 68.4% at EUR305.5m, although C&C's original cider business saw sales dip by 8.6%. EBIT (continuing operations before exceptional items) jumped by 20.8% year-on-year to EUR63.4m, with the Tennent's and Gaymer purchases contributing EUR15.6m.

A clear ray of light for C&C's original cider business, consisting of the Magners brand, was that volumes in GB inched up in the six-month period, by 0.7%. The lift represented the brand's first rise in the country since 2007. The firm's struggles in its native Ireland continue, however, with volumes for its Bulmer cider down by 3.4% in the republic.

“Economic conditions in the group’s core markets of Ireland and the UK remain unpredictable and challenging,” said C&C's CEO, John Dunsmore. “Consequently, we are appropriately cautious in our outlook.”

Dunsmore added that the company remains “confident of delivering to market consensus for operating profit in the range of EUR102m to EUR106m for 2010/11”.

“Our strong underlying free cash flow and balance sheet will ensure the group can continue to invest for growth, despite the difficult trading environment in our core markets,” he concluded.

To read the full announcement, click here.