DRINKS maker C&C remains on track to meet its full-year guidance, despite the market in Ireland remaining depressed in the first quarter of the company's fiscal year.
C&C said that in the three months to the end of May, net revenue from Bulmers cider fell 3.3pc, despite volume increasing 2.7pc on the quarter.
Nevertheless, the company reiterated its operating profit guidance in the range of €108m to €115m for the full year.
"The Irish market is struggling but the strength in exports has more than offset the difficulties in Ireland," said chief executive John Dunsmore.
Export volume growth for Magners cider was up 26.9pc, while volumes were up nearly a third. In the UK, Magners volume was up 14pc, while revenue climbed 10.1pc.
"We've been clear that we'll peddle hard to stand still in Ireland, especially given the continued squeeze on consumer spending. Bulmers has been flat in a deflationary environment but in that context we think it's a pretty good performance," Mr Dunsmore said.
The entry of the world's largest brewer, AB InBev, into the cider market with Stella Artois Cidre has been noted by analysts as a challenge to the much smaller C&C.
However, Mr Dunsmore said he took the launch of Stella Artois as a vote of confidence in the cider business, rather than as the emergence of a potentially damaging rival.
C&C closed down 2.57pc at €3.53.