Belfast Telegraph

Acquisitions paying off as C&C Group's shares rise

By John Mulligan

Shares of drinks group C&C rose more than 5% yesterday as the company released its latest trading forecasts and said it was well positioned to deal with the political uncertainty of Brexit.

The company saw its earnings rise 20%.

"Operational delivery and customer service at both Matthew Clark and Bibendum have been very strong and ahead of plan," the company said in a statement.

"We therefore anticipate that their combined financial contribution will be as guided at our half year results on October 25."

C&C bought UK distributor Matthew Clark and the Bibendum wine business in 2018. The rest of C&C's business includes the Magners brand of cider.

The stock was trading at £2.80 after the statement and the company is rated "outperform" by Cantor Fitzgerald Ireland.

Darren McKinley, senior equity analyst at the firm, said: "Firstly, C&C's core business has returned to growth driven by a combination of volume and price gains. Secondly, unlike with previous acquisitions, we believe that C&C management have added significant value via acquiring Matthew Clark Bibendum."

At a time when the UK economy is suffering from the uncertainties surrounding Brexit, C&C said it could deliver on its plans.

"In Scotland and Ireland, our combination of leading brands and distribution assets is highly resilient, cash generative and delivering growth. With a strong balance sheet and normalised cash flow conversion of 60-70% of EBITDA, we are poised to provide enhanced shareholder returns."

Belfast Telegraph

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