Business Irish

Sunday 22 April 2018

C&C blames the rain and tighter drink laws for first quarter gloom

Chairman Brian Stewart (far right) at the C&C Group PLC AGM in the Marker Hotel
Chairman Brian Stewart (far right) at the C&C Group PLC AGM in the Marker Hotel
Peter Flanagan

Peter Flanagan

SHARES in C&C tumbled as much as 4pc yesterday, after the company blamed the weather and tougher drink-driving laws on a disappointing first quarter of its financial year.

For the three months to the end of May, the cider maker warned it had experienced "mixed" trading conditions. Its core markets in Ireland and Scotland were hit by what it desribed as "unseasonably cold and wet weather, particularly in May".

That, combined with a tightening of drink-driving laws in Scotland - the legal blood alcohol limit has been reduced amid an advertising campaign warning of driving the day after drinking - helped hurt trading across the board.

The company has not offered specific forecasts for this year but said it would be "a year of stabilisation and investment for the group".

"Following weaker than expected trading conditions in the first quarter, we anticipate a gradual improvement in core market performance as the year progresses.

"In the US and other export markets, a return to growth is the target. For C&C brands, the objective for the financial year is earnings and volume stabilisation," it added.

Shares in the company are down more than 22pc in the last year as C&C digests the $320m acquisition of the Vermont Hard Cider company three years ago. Company CEO Stephen Glancey said he did not yet regret that deal. Shares fell 4pc but recovered in the afternoon to end the day off 1.4pc at €3.44.

Irish Independent

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