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Covid-19 hangover: Irish drinks firms feel the pressure

Insiders say recovery is possible for the drinks industry, but more assistance is needed to put the fizz back into the sector. Sean Pollock reports

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Ireland's drink industry has been struck by Covid-19, mainly as a result of the stalled on-trade sector across the world. (Stock image)

Ireland's drink industry has been struck by Covid-19, mainly as a result of the stalled on-trade sector across the world. (Stock image)

Ireland's drink industry has been struck by Covid-19, mainly as a result of the stalled on-trade sector across the world. (Stock image)

The pint glasses belonging to the shareholders of C&C may not have been fizzing with much optimism on Wednesday ahead of the Bulmer's cider producer's annual results announcement. With Covid-19 tearing through the hospitality sector - temporarily closing pubs, restaurants and hotels - the shareholders may have been braced for bad news.

The results revealed an operating profit for the year ended February 2020 of €116.4m, a solid performance for the company. However, this did not reveal anything about the impact of Covid-19.

Accounting for factors like the decline of on-trade sales, which typically account for 80pc of the company's revenue, as well as the cost of furloughing staff, Covid-19 has left C&C down €12m a month - a big bite out of C&C's apples.