Gloomy weather weighs on cider sales

Bulmers maker C&C's profits are down...

Gloomy weather weighs on cider sales

Image: Photocall Ireland

Drinks group, C&C has announced a 10% fall in operating profits to €103m for the year to February on sales that were 3% lower at €660m.

The outcome, which included exceptional restructuring costs of €38m arising from the closure of facilities in Tipperary and Somerset, was broadly in line with market expectations.

It was a mixed year for the cider, beer, and soft drinks group. It says its Magners Cider brand is back in growth in the UK and that Tennents sales have stabilised in Scotland

It acknowledges that the past year was disappointing in Ireland, due in part it claims to the impact of poor weather conditions and also increased competition. More craft brewers and cider makers have continued to enter the market, and Heineken Ireland launched its own cider, Orchard Thieves .

Cider revenues here fell by 16% and non-alcoholic drink sales were 14% lower hit also by the loss of some big contracts

But the group’s balance sheet remains strong and it has increased its dividend payout for the year by close to 20%.

The company previously announced plans to close two plants with the loss of 260 jobs as it strives to deliver costs savings of €15m in this financial year.