This led to €8.3 million being declared in Operating Profits. Volumes too were up by 9% with Bulmers volumes showing growth of 4.5%.
Total cider volumes were up 2.7% in the six months compared to the same half-year in 2020, with corresponding net revenues up 27.7% but these were down 28.4% compared to this same half-year in 2019.
“Bulmers has continued to perform strongly with 50.3% MAT volume share in off-trade cider, reflecting a 0.5% growth on a year ago and 2.4% growth on two years ago with value outperforming this,” states C&C.
“In the latest brand health survey, the brand continues to be ranked the No1 cider brand in Ireland across all measures, consistently outperforming its nearest competitor. In the on-trade Bulmers volumes in August 2021 returned to 74% of August 2019 levels with corresponding net revenues at 77%, demonstrating how robustly trade has returned.”
The partial reopening of Hospitality here contributed to this rise while the company points out that it’s only in the last five weeks of H1 that the hospitality industry has been able to operate at anything close to a pre-Covid-19 basis.
According to C&C, the off-trade share of total LAD has slowed as a result of the reopening of the on-trade with growth of 9.7% on an MAT basis decreasing to -9.6% in the latest three-month data.
As of last August C&C was back trading with 91% of those RoI outlets it had traded with in August 2019.
In August the Irish business took 32% of its net revenue through Bulmers Direct, its online ordering platform.
“This will be a focus in H2 as the business looks to build on this momentum,” it stated.
Having taken on the exclusive distribution of Budweiser in July 2020, C&C was unable to trade the brand properly until the first six months of the current financial year to August the 31st. Despite this the company has added 450 new Budweiser distribution points.
Overall, the C&C Group declared a 65% increase in revenues to €657.3 million for its H1 financial year leading to an Operating Profit declaration of €16 million despite some restrictions still being in place. This compares to an Operating Loss of €13.2 million for the same period the previous year.
“We’re encouraged by how quickly the on-trade recovered” stated the C&C Group’s Chief Executive David Forde, “and we’re pleased to report that trading in the first half has been ahead of plan.”