UK: C&C Group signals further decline

By | 31 August 2007

C&C Group has flagged up yet another warning in its most recent trading statement that it is struggling.

The troubled company said today (31 August), that, for the six months to the end of August, it expects its operating margin to decline and for turnover to be flat compared to last year's results.

The weak performance is down to a combination of issues, including hiked-up marketing and manufacturing costs for its Magners cider brand, poor weather in Ireland and the UK and the impact of competition, said the company.

The statement added that Bulmers cider volumes in the Republic of Ireland are expected to decline by 7% in the half year, while shipments of Magners to the UK are expected to be 2% higher than last year. The company also forecast that spirits and liqueurs shipments should increase by 8% over the same period last year. This primarily reflects continued double digit growth for its Tullamore Dew Irish whiskey brand.

Operating profit from the sale of C&C's soft drinks division is expected to be approximately EUR6m (US$8.2m), but still represents a decline on the previous year, due mainly to the very poor summer weather, said the company.

Earlier this month, C&C, which owns the Magners cider brand, issued a second profit warning for the year. The company blamed the poor weather conditions and increased competition in the UK for a deterioration in cider sales volumes in the country during the second half of July. Manufacturing and marketing costs were also highlighted as being "substantially higher".

C&C will provide guidance on its expectations for the second half and full year when it announces its interim results on 10 October.

Sectors: Beer & cider, Soft drinks, Water

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