Thursday 23 November 2017

Good weather drives Bulmers sales in second quarter

Michael Cogley

Michael Cogley

Cider sales at Irish drinks company C&C were boosted by good weather in March and May as the volume of Bulmers shipped jumped by 9pc in the three month period to the end of May.

During the quarter the company also experienced a 4pc increase Tennent's sales in Ireland while Magners in the UK saw its volume soar by 24pc when compared with the same period last year.

In a statement released to shareholders this morning C&C said that "decent weather" had helped the Bulmers brand.

"There is momentum in the Corona brand and our wine portfolio and boutique beer range are beginning to perform. Heverlee and Clonmel 1650 were up 67pc and 65pc respectively in the on-trade in Northern Ireland," the company said.

The increase in sales comes as a welcome boost for the company that went through a challenging 2015 that saw bad weather hamper cider sales.

C&C said that its cider category in the US remains in negative territory, however the company said Pabst Brewing has made good progress in integrating, consolidating and rebranding its business.

The company also welcomed the boost granted to sales by Euro2016.

"Despite the solid start, we remain cautious on our outlook for the year. The result of the referendum in the UK brings with it uncertainty, volatility and a lack of visibility.

"Our Bulmers, Magners and Tennent’s brands are strong and connect with local customers and consumers in our core markets. We have a growing export business which is entirely unaffected by the UK decision to leave the EU and our conservative approach to currency risk covers most of our transaction exposure through natural hedging.

"However, with almost 50pc of profits denominated in sterling and reported in euros, C&C is exposed to the translation impact of a devalued pound. At current levels, if sustained, currency movements have the potential to undo the earnings benefit from both cost reduction activity and the steady progress made in trading year-to-date.

"While the longer-term economic implications of the UK referendum outcome are uncertain, the fundamentals of our brands and business model remain strong, supported by a robust balance sheet and cash conversion capability," the company said.

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