Statement re COVID-19 Update

DUBLIN & LONDON--()-- 

COVID-19 Update

Dublin, London | 20 March 2020: C&C Group plc (‘C&C’ or the 'Group’), a leading, vertically integrated premium drinks company which manufactures, markets and distributes branded beer, cider, wine, spirits and soft drinks across the UK and Ireland, today provides an update in light of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Health and Safety

Our priority is protecting the health and wellbeing of our people, customers, suppliers, business partners and community. We are continuously monitoring the advice provided by the health authorities and in line with that guidance, the Group has implemented an extensive range of measures to provide the safest environment we can for our stakeholders.

The Group's supply chain and production network remains fully operational and we remain committed to supporting the trade.

Trading Conditions

Since our FY20 Trading Update was issued earlier this month, market conditions have deteriorated and it is now clear that COVID-19 will have a material impact on Group performance in the current financial year (‘FY21’).

Given the ongoing uncertainty, we are unable to accurately quantify the expected impact of COVID-19 on our financial and trading performance at this stage. However we expect a material reduction to our prior expectations for FY21. The scale of this reduction will depend upon how the situation develops, over what timeframe, and the impact of further measures implemented by the Irish and UK Governments.

We are committed to ensuring our market leading positions are preserved and with the obvious on-trade disruption we have reallocated additional resources behind our core brands’ off-trade channels, where we continue to perform strongly.

Operational Actions and Liquidity

We are working proactively to maximise cash, maintain a strong liquidity position and protect profits. We have a largely flexible cost base, a supportive banking syndicate and have taken the following actions to date:

- Drawn down our full revolving credit facility (‘RCF’) and are working to ensure further credit is available should it be required.

- Significantly reduced our capital expenditure.

- Reducing marketing spend and other costs.

- Prudent and vigilant working capital management.

- Like others in the sector, we welcome the support from governments and we are actively engaging with the Irish and UK Tax Authorities with a view to addressing tax and duty liabilities that arise during this downturn in trading.

Our net debt/EBITDA was below our target 2.0x at 29th February 2020 and included c. €137 million (unaudited) of cash on hand. We have further strengthened our liquidity position since that time drawing down a further c. €210 million from our RCF.

In addition to our bank facilities we have a non-recourse, committed debtor securitization facility of £200 million that was 55% utilised as at 29th Feb 2020.

The Group therefore believes, based on the measures detailed above and underpinned by our inherently strong free cash flow generation and conversion characteristics, that it is well-positioned to withstand a material decrease in business activity during 2020.

The Board is continuing to closely monitor performance in what is a rapidly changing trading environment and will provide updates as appropriate.

ENDS

Contacts

C&C Group plc
Stewart Gilliland, interim Executive Chairman
Jonathan Solesbury, Chief Financial Officer
Patrick McMahon, Group Strategy Director
Email: patrick.mcmahon@candcgroup.ie

FTI Consulting
Jonathan Neilan/Paddy Berkery
Tel: +353 1 765 0886/0884
Email: CandCGroup@fticonsulting.com

Novella Communications
Tim Robertson
Tel: +44 203 151 7008
Email: TimR@novella-comms.com

About C&C Group plc

C&C Group plc is a leading, vertically integrated premium drinks company which manufactures, markets and distributes branded beer, cider, wine, spirits, and soft drinks across the UK and Ireland.

  • C&C Group's portfolio of owned/exclusive brands include: Bulmers, the leading Irish cider brand; Tennent's, the leading Scottish beer brand; Magners the premium international cider brand; as well as a range of fast-growing, super-premium and craft ciders and beers, such as Heverlee, Five Lamps, Menabrea and Orchard Pig.
  • C&C Group has own brand and contract manufacturing/packing operations in Co. Tipperary, Ireland; Glasgow, Scotland; and Vermont, United States, where it manufactures Woodchuck, a leading craft cider brand in the United States.
  • C&C Group is the No.#1 drinks distributor to the UK and Ireland hospitality sectors. Operating under the Matthew Clark, Bibendum, Tennent's and C&C Gleeson brands, the C&C Group supplies over 35,000 pubs, bars, restaurants and hotels, and is a key route-to-market for major international beverage companies.
  • C&C Group also has a minority investment in the Admiral Taverns tenanted pub group, which owns over 1,000 pubs across England and Wales and exports its Magners and Tennent's brands to over 60 countries worldwide.

C&C is a FTSE 250 company, headquartered in Dublin and listed on the London Stock Exchange.

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 page 14 of our Interim results for the six months ended 31 August 2019, that could cause actual results to differ materially from those anticipated.

Short Name: C&C Group Plc
Category Code: STR
Sequence Number: 695208
Time of Receipt (offset from UTC): 20200320T120315+0000

Contacts

C&C Group PLC

Contacts

C&C Group PLC