Belfast Telegraph

Owner of Magners Cider sees revenues fall by 7%

By Staff Reporters

Tennent's NI owner C&C has seen revenues fall nearly 7% to €559m (£480m) year-on-year, primarily due to declines in wholesale, own label, and US revenues.

The company behind brands such as Magners Cider and Tennent's lager said that the impact of the devaluation of sterling following the Brexit vote had cost the company €8m (£7m) in the eight months following the UK's decision to leave the EU.

Operating profit at the company was €95m (£82m), in line with the previous year.

C&C's export division continued to grow, with total volumes of exports increasing 3.9% in 12 months. The Tennent's brand was particularly successful, delivering 17% growth.

C&C said that it had significantly increased its brand investment, up 12% across core brands.

And in Tennent's NI's most recent results, for the year ending February 29, 2016, it reported turnover of £61.7m, up from £56.3m a year earlier. Pre-tax profits, meanwhile, also grew from £6.9m to £9.9m.

C&C chief executive Stephen Glancey (right) said yesterday there is no pressure from shareholders to sell its US operations, after slashing the value of its assets there by €129m (£111m). He said the long-embattled US arm is operating at break-even and is stable, but conceded that the group still has no visibility on when its market there might recover.

C&C's North America revenue slumped 33.6% to €24.5m (£21m) in the latest financial year, with volumes having also tumbled by 33.6%.

Mr Glancey told analysts that recovery in the US will be slow.

"Our intention is to play a long game on it. We think that rather like we've seen in the UK, the big international brewers will come and go into the cider category and will focus more on beer and craft beer."

Mr Glancey said the Irish market has seen an aggressive challenger brand enter the market in recent years, with the arrival of Heineken's Orchard Thieves. "However, the Bulmers (Magners) brand remains in rude health and close to the affections of Irish age groups of all age groups," he said. "We're investing from a position of strength."

Belfast Telegraph

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