Change of fortunes for C&C as sales rise 14%

DRINKS group C&C saw a reversal of fortunes in Britain in the four weeks to mid-June as sales rose 14% in supermarkets and stores.

This will come as very good news to C&C, which saw demand for cider fall dramatically last year, causing its share price to drop 70%.

The company has since been engaged in a series of new initiatives to help drive demand for the brand.

It hired a manager from Molson Coors Brewing to revive British sales and has introduced a lower -calorie version of the cider.

Merrion Stockbrokers said, citing figures from market researcher ACNielsen, that C&C’s Magners brand’s share of beer and cider sales at stores in the country improved to 1.34% in the period ended June 14, from 1.25% the previous month.

Merrion has a “hold” rating on C&C. About 33% of C&C’s British cider sales are from the so-called off-trade, or stores and supermarkets, Merrion said.

Last month, Merrion said C&C had experienced no “major recovery” in demand for the beverage in British pubs and bars this year. Half of the 208 pubs selling Magners said sales were unchanged since March, while 43% reported an increase and 6.5% said sales had declined.

Also last month, Goodbody analyst Liam Igoe said Magners’ market share at 1.2% was slightly better than the stockbroking firm had anticipated, but that on the competitive front the data showed continued pressure from Scottish & Newcastle.

Mr Igoe said S&N’s sales increased 34% since January, versus a 17% increase for Magners and S&N’s Bulmers was up 49% year-on-year.

C&C ended the week at €3.82, down 10c.


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