Magners off-trade sales rise in World Cup

OFF-TRADE sales of Magners are up by 15% in the year to date, according to latest industry figures.

The drink is C&C’s main cider brand in the British market.

The sales jump was aided in no small part by good sales during the recent World Cup in South Africa. The sales measured the amount bought through off-licences and supermarkets.

Despite England performing poorly in the tournament, English cider drinkers still bought enough Magners to boost its off-trade sales volumes by 90%, on a year-on-year basis, during the four weeks up to July 10.

The product’s sales value was up by 53%, year- on-year, over the same period. C&C shares fell 3.3% to €3.30 yesterday.

The strong volume growth was also helped by good weather in Britain across both June and early July.

“For us, the most important take away from the Nielsen data is that C&C is steadily increasing Magners value share.

“The trend is positive. C&C is narrowing its under performance in the growing GB cider category,” said Barry Gallagher of Davy Stockbrokers.

Analysts are also expecting C&C and Heineken to benefit from future pricing initiatives and grow further on the back of them. The two companies control 75% of the cider market in Britain.

“The newsflow for C&C is its AGM statement on August 5. This is likely to offer a brief comment on current trading.

“Notwithstanding the difficult consumer environments in Ireland and the UK, we’d expect the commentary to be positive. We believe Magners has returned to positive growth on a 12-month rolling basis for the first time in over two years,” said Mr Gallagher.

He added that the debt-free nature of C&C’s balance sheet thanks to the recent sale of its spirits division and its asset base, “provide an opportunity for value-creating deals and for laying the foundations for the internationalisation of its cider portfolio”.


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