While declining to make a specific comment, Diageo Ireland did state, “On occasion and intermittently we use C&C for bottling when we are at full capacity and need them for the overflow of our orders".
The Clonmel plant produces 1.5 million Hectolitres at present and the C&C Group has stated in its 2010 Annual Report that it is to re-evaluate the value of its cider production facility in Clonmel due to “significant excess capacity levels”.
The group’s cider volumes have continued to struggle in Ireland although it reports sales of Bulmers up 2.4 per cent in the three months to the end of November while sales of its Magners brand in Britain were up 4.8pc in volume terms.
However revenues here were down by about two per cent. In October, the group announced it would cut a further 50 jobs in its Bulmers operations in Ireland.