Bulmers owner toasts 'transformational year' but warns of spending in rural areas
Drinks group C&C has said that bulmers had an “excellent” year in Ireland, returning to volume growth 1.6pc and revenue growth 2.9pc in the 12 months to 28 February.
The performance was helped by the good summer and the World Cup in the first half of the year.
Meanwhile its craft brewery, Five Lamps, saw its volumes increase 35pc, despite what C&C described as “unprecedented” launch activity by the major brewers.
However, the group warned that economic expansion in Ireland remains concentrated in the major urban areas.
“Given uncertainty around Brexit, consumer spending particularly in rural areas [in Ireland] remains under pressure, with the on-trade also impacted by the tightening of drink-driving sanctions during 2018,” the group said.
Overall, and C&C saw its operating profit increase to €104.5m in the 12 months to 28 February.
Revenue at C&C, whose brand’s also include Tennents, was €1.57bn, according to annual results from the group.
During the period C&C completed the acquisition of drinks distribution business Matthew Clark and Bibendum, which resulted in overall group net revenue growth of 188pc and operating profits up 21.5pc.
Across the core C&C business, organic net revenue increased 3.2pc, while operating profit was up 3.3pc.
Stephen Glancey, C&C CEO, said: “FY2019 was a transformational year for the company.”
“Despite strong multi beverage brand led positions in Ireland and Scotland, access to the wider UK on-trade had always been a challenge, the acquisition of Matthew Clark and Bibendum changes this dynamic.”
“We are now the largest final mile distributor to the on-trade of alcohol and other drinks in the British Isles with unparalleled access to this profitable market channel. In the longer term this will provide the platform for developing our high premium speciality beers and ciders.”