Maker of Bulmers in cautionary tone ahead of AGM as beer and cider sales decline in Ireland
C&C, the makers of Bulmers cider, issued a trading update with a cautious tone ahead of its AGM.
The AGM trading statement does not contain any volume data, instead the company says that underlying trading to date across core markets has been "satisfactory" and in line with management expectations.
In Scotland, against a flat market, its main brand there, Tennent’s, gained market share, while premium and craft brands, including Menabrea, Heverlee and Drygate, also performed well.
However in Ireland C&C described market trade as "subdued" with beer and cider segments recording declines. To combat this, Bulmers was re-launched in March with a new heavyweight media campaign.
Under what was described as "intense" competition, Bulmers lost more draught distribution C&C said, however the company said that Bulmers did experience growth in the grocery channel.
Its premium and craft brands also continue to grow strongly, C&C said.
The group's exports had a solid start to the year, the company said, with Europe maintaining its strong performance, while Australia and New Zealand markets have improved year-on-year.
However a slower start has been seen across newer African and Asian markets.
In the US, business is described as "stable", but the cider category remains in negative territory, which is holding back any market share recovery, C&C said.
The group concluded its trading statement with a warning on the impact of Brexit, saying that if the current exchange rates continue, the groups financial performance for the year would be negatively impacted.
In May this year C&C announced that its net revenue reduced 6.9pc year-on-year, primarily due to declines in wholesale, own label, and US revenues.