C&C enjoys rise in pre-tax profits

Manufacturer’s of Magners cider, C&C Group, have reported results in line with guidance on the back of poor weather and increased competition.

The Dublin-based company reported a 2.7% rise in pre-tax profits to €109m for the year ending Feb 28, 2013 and €106.1m for 2012.

C&C Group chief executive Stephen Glancey said that the second half of the year had brought some trading stability to the drinks market, following the slump from poor weather in the early part of the year.

“Our results are in line with stated guidance and while it has not been an easy year for our core cider brands, with poor weather and increased competition, particularly in the UK, the second half did bring some trading stability in Ireland. We have had an excellent contribution from the Tennent’s brand both in domestic and international markets providing some balance to the increased competition within UK cider,” he said.

Davy’s analyst Barry Gallagher described Tennent’s lager as the star performer in C&C groups portfolio of drinks brands.

“Net revenue for Tennent’s rose 6.8% with EBIT [earnings before interest and tax] up 35%. When C&C acquired Tennent’s from AB Inbev, it was delivering some €13m in EBIT; for FY 2013, Tennent’s reported EBIT of €30.3m. The Caledonian Best brand is showing very strong growth, highlighting C&C’s strength in the Scottish market,” he said.

C&C are hoping to grow their business both in Ireland and in the USA. The company said that acquisition of wholesaler in Ireland and a cider brand in the USA will add to the companies future growth.

“The period was defined by two significant investments. In the USA we acquired the Vermont Hard Cider Company, increasing the group’s exposure to an emerging category in a major potential market. Then in Ireland, just after the year end, we acquired the leading wholesaler Gleeson’s. This demonstrates our long-term belief in Ireland as a place to invest and gives C&C a platform for domestic growth for the first time in many years,” said Mr Glancey.

C&C Group Plc rose the most in three weeks in Dublin trading as the cider maker said it will continue to deliver earnings growth.

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