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Bulmers maker halts its final 2019 dividend and furloughs 70pc of staff

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Brands: C&C makes Bulmers cider, Tennent’s lager and 5 Lamps beer

Brands: C&C makes Bulmers cider, Tennent’s lager and 5 Lamps beer

C&C makes Bulmers cider

C&C makes Bulmers cider

Bloomberg

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Brands: C&C makes Bulmers cider, Tennent’s lager and 5 Lamps beer

BULMERS maker C&C has halted the payment of its final dividend for 2019 so as to preserve cash and as a result of its decision to make use of government support through the coronavirus crisis

C&C, which also owns brands including Tennent's and 5 Lamps beer, has placed around 70pc of its staff on furlough.

In a trading update yesterday the company said it continued to actively engage with the Irish and UK tax authorities.

C&C has also implemented an average salary reduction of around 20pc across its workforce, with its executive leadership team and board remuneration reduced by 30pc and 40pc respectively for an initial three months.

The group has liquid assets of around €570m, of which €430m is in cash. C&C believes that its existing liquidity position is "more than sufficient" for the company's current and expected needs.

In addition, C&C said it has now received confirmation from the Bank of England that it is eligible to issue commercial paper under the Covid-19 Corporate Financing Facility ('CCFF') scheme.

In March, C&C raised around €140m in new debt in the United States private placement market, which will also help with its current needs.

"Overall, while we note the extremely challenging trading conditions, we consider C&C's update to be encouraging, outlining further detail on its strong focus on protection of profit and cash," said Patrick Higgins, analyst at Goodbody Stockbrokers.

"This should enable C&C to navigate its way through this challenging period."

C&C, which owns a 47pc stake in Admiral Taverns, a UK pub operator, said it has launched a number of initiatives to support its customers. Shares in the group were down around 1.6pc in trading yesterday.

Irish Independent