Total sales were up 8.7% in Ireland to €330.6 million (including sales of €185 million from the acquired Gleeson Group operation). Net revenues were up 2.2% to €237.3 million (Gleeson Group’s contribution to net revenues was €143.1 million) while volumes increased 1.1% providing an operating profit of €48.2 million (Gleeson Group contribution €5.2 million), up 9.4%.
According to the company, “A robust performance in the on-trade helped deliver a positive price/mix of +1.1%. Operating profit increased 9.4% to €43.0 million”.
Reduced spend on consumer marketing and some cost-benefit from the integration of the Gleeson Group into the Group’s RoI business contributed to margin uplift.
In the full year to the end of February 2014, cider net revenues increased by 1.7% of which volume accounted for 0.7% and price/mix for 1.0%.
Bulmers’ brand volume finished slightly ahead of the prior year helping to increase its share of LAD to 9.2%. The brand experienced positive volume swings of 8 and 7 percenatage points in the on-trade and off-trade respectively.
In both channels of trade the brand outperformed the marketplace, highlighting the beneficial impact of a good summer on cider consumption.
Over the past 12 months, advertising and promotional spend was €3 million lower than last year.
Despite a decline of 16% for Tennent’s in the off-trade, the Group reports that overall beer volume for the Group was up 3.7% year-on-year.
“The enhanced distribution and sales reach acquired through the Gleeson business gives reason to be optimistic on the outlook for C&C beer in the ROI on-trade,” according to the results.
As a measure of confidence in the reconfigured business model, C&C recently completed construction of a new craft brewery in Clonmel and is launching Clonmel 1650, “a premium, authentic Irish lager”.
The Gleeson business performed in line with first year expectations, states the company. Despite “a complex and challenging integration” in the 12 months to 28th February 2014, Gleeson recorded net revenue of €143.1 million, EBITDA of €8.3 million and operating profit of €5.2 million.
Initial synergies from the consolidation of sales, marketing and finance overheads provided some benefit for the Bulmers margins in the full year 2014. Full year benefit will flow through in 2015.
In addition, the Group expects to begin delivering on revenue and operational synergies over the next few years, improving on this year’s reported operating margin of 3.6% for Gleeson.
In Ireland, Bulmers is to launch Clonmel 1650, a new premium Irish lager.
The C&C Group reported a 30% increase in global net revenues to €620.2 million with Operating Profits up 10.6% to €126.7 million.
C&C Chief Executive Stephen Glancy summarised, “Macro conditions in Ireland and the UK are gradually improving and our businesses are well-positioned to benefit from improved consumer sentiment in these key markets”.