Bulmers maker C&C set to restart dividend payments

Group says it expects profits in the year to the end of February 2023 to have nearly doubled
Although also down by 1.2%, on-trade LAD volumes trended more favourably than in 2018 where they’d been down 3.4%.

Group says it expects profits in the year to the end of February 2023 to have nearly doubled

C&C Group says it expects to report net revenues of approximately €1.68 million in the year to the end of February 2023, an increase of 18% on the previous year.

The drinks group, which manufactures, markets, and distributes branded beer, cider, wine, spirits and soft drinks across Ireland and the UK, including Bulmers and Tennents, intends to recommence dividend payments to shareholders on the back of its improved balance sheet.

C&C is set to publish its financial results for 2023 in May but according to its latest trading statement, it now expects to report a full year operating profit of €84 million.

This is a significant jump from its 2022’s operating profit of €48 million, and the group said this outcome reflects a number of factors, including the previously noted softer than expected Christmas trading and the impact of the various strikes in the UK.

In February, the Group commenced a significant technology project in its UK operations, a key step in the digital transformation and optimisation of the business. The implementation phase of the project is taking longer than originally envisaged, with some consequent impact on service and profitability, however, encouragingly service levels have largely returned to normal levels.

Despite a challenging trading backdrop, it said it is pleased with the performance of its core brands, Bulmers and Tennent’s, which in the latest MAT volume data are both continuing to grow category share.

C&C said it has seen a significant reduction in net debt to approximately €150 million and a leverage multiple of 1.3x, compared with €271 million and 3.4x at the end of the 2022 financial year.

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