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DRINKS company C&C Group, which produces Bulmers cider, has reported pre-tax profits of €64.8m for the six months to the end of August, compared with €58.7m for the same time last year.

Half-yearly revenues slipped marginally from €440m to €399.3m, while operating profits for the period rose by 7.8pc to €67.4m.

The contribution from C&C's beer portfolio in Ireland increased by €1.2m in the first half, which helped the Irish business to broadly meet its targets. Volumes of its Bulmers cider dropped by 3.5pc.

Separately, the company announced that its CEO John Dunsmore (above) is to step down at the end of the calendar year.