DUBLIN & LONDON--(BUSINESS WIRE)--
AGM Trading Update
Dublin, London | 6 July, 2017: C&C Group plc (“C&C” or the “Group”), a manufacturer, marketer and distributor of branded cider, beer, wine and soft drinks today issues a trading update covering the period from 1 March 2017 to the date of this statement.
Underlying trading to date, across core markets, is satisfactory and in line with our expectations. C&C will be better placed to assess recent brand and NPD investment in Ireland and the new ABI partnership following the key trading months of July and August.
The Scottish business has benefitted from multi-year investment in both customers and brands. This has provided real competitive advantage and there is a degree of momentum in customer recruitment in our branded and wholesale channels.
In a flat market the Tennent’s brand is gaining share, supported by a new marketing campaign themed around 'Here to Serve' and our award winning social media capability.
The premium and craft brands of Menabrea, Heverlee and Drygate had a strong period, with a number of significant new listings across all trade channels.
In Ireland, the overall trade has been subdued against strong comparatives with beer and cider in year on year decline. Against this backdrop, we re-launched Bulmers in March with new livery and a heavyweight media campaign. This was supported by category innovation through our Outcider offering.
It is early days but we are pleased at the response to the marketing campaign and associated consumer recruitment.
Under intense competition Bulmers has lost more draught distribution, mitigated by growth in the grocery channel and innovation. As with the UK, our premium and craft portfolio in Ireland grew strongly with Heverlee and 5 Lamps the standout performers. Innovation continues in the Craft space with the launch of our Dowd’s Lane range of craft ciders and beers in Ireland.
The complex transition of Magners and our other cider brands to AB InBev is on track with minimal customer disruption.
In a flat cider category in GB and against strong comparatives, volumes are tracking slightly behind target. It is anticipated they will normalise through the key summer trading months.
Export has had a solid start to the year with Europe maintaining its strong performance from the prior year, but with a slower start in the newer markets of Africa and Asia. Australia and New Zealand have improved year on year and the new distribution arrangement is bedding in to plan.
In the US, our business is stable, with some progress on improving efficiencies and utilisation. However, the cider category remains in negative territory, which is holding back any share recovery for our brands.
We also continue to explore third party contract manufacturing and distribution opportunities in our core markets as well as further operating efficiencies, to supplement our organic growth plans.
C&C is exposed to the translation impact of the further weakening in the value of Sterling following the U.K. General Election. At current €/£ exchange rates, if sustained, our financial performance for the full year will be negatively impacted on account of currency movements.
C&C Group plc
Stephen Glancey, Chief Executive
Joe Thompson, Investor Relations
Tel: + 44 7980 844 580
Investors, Analysts & Irish Media
Mark Kenny/Jonathan Neilan
Tel: +353 1 765 0886
UK & International Media
Tel: +44 203 151 7008
About C&C Group plc
C&C Group plc is a premium drinks company which owns, manufactures, markets and distributes branded beer, cider, wine, soft drinks and bottled water. C&C Group brands include: Bulmers the leading Irish cider brand; Tennent’s, the leading Scottish beer brand; Magners the premium international cider brand; Tipperary Water; Finches soft drinks, as well as a range of niche, premium and craft ciders and beers. C&C Group also owns and manufactures Woodchuck, a leading craft cider brand in the United States and manufactures and distributes a number of 3rd party international beer brands in Scotland and Ireland. C&C is also a leading drinks wholesaler in Scotland and Ireland, where it operates under the Tennent's and C&C Gleeson brands respectively. C&C Group is headquartered in Dublin with manufacturing operations in Co. Tipperary, Ireland; Glasgow, Scotland; and Vermont, USA. C&C Group plc is listed on the Irish and London Stock Exchanges.
Note regarding forward-looking statements
This announcement includes forward-looking statements, including statements concerning current expectations about future financial performance and economic and market conditions which C&C believes are reasonable. However, these statements are neither promises nor guarantees, but are subject to risks and uncertainties, including those factors discussed on pages 19 to 21 of the Group's 2017 Report & Accounts that could cause actual results to differ materially from those anticipated.