C&C feels €8m Brexit chill

Bulmers sales are up - but the group's overall revenue has fallen

C&C feels €8m Brexit chill

Bulmers / Facebook

The publicly-quoted cider, beer and soft drinks manufacturer and distributor, with significant interests in Ireland the UK and the US, has confirmed that the devaluation of sterling since last June’s Brexit vote cost the company about €8m in its financial year to the end of February.

In what it calls a "tough" trading year, C&C saw its revenues fall by nearly 7% to €560m – and that’s on a constant currency basis where currency volatility is netted out – and operating profits remain flat at €95m.

The group also incurred exceptional charges of €150m in the past year..

The bulk of this relates to downward revaluation of assets, including an €18m impairment charge on the cider business it acquired in Vermont in the US a few years ago.

There were also restructuring charges arising from the closure of brewing and distribution facilities in Borrisoleigh in County Tipperary and in Somerset in the UK.

On a positive note, the company says it enjoyed volume growth of close to 3% in its core Bulmers, Magners and Tennents brands and that current year trading is in line with expectations though “political uncertainty” makes predictions on trading patterns and consumer behaviour particularly challenging.

The dividend per share has been increased by 5% to 14.33 cents.

Stephen Glancey, C&C Group CEO, commented: "FY2017 has been a period of significant activity for the Group. While trading remained tough, we invested in and delivered volume growth across our core brands; completed a major rationalisation of our production foot print; drove efficiencies across the business; continued to grow our Premium portfolio and Export business; and secured an important new long-term distribution arrangement with AB InBev.

"After this year of consolidation, we are in materially better shape to meet the ongoing challenges and opportunities within our industry."