Growth came from the off-trade which was up 8% as the on-trade remained “subdued” (down 2%).
However cider increased its share of the H1 LAD market to 13.8% (from 13.1% in the previous H1) and Bulmers volumes themselves were up 5% in the six months (with off-trade volumes up 11%), bringing in a 4% growth in revenues for the brand at C&C Group while a 23% organic growth in volumes in C&C’s Super Premium/Craft sector means that this now accounts for some 7.5% of branded revenues at the company. C&C’s Irish revenues rose 6.6% overall.
Despite an intensification of competition in the cider and lager markets, “when the sun shines, people drink Bulmers” commented C&C Group Chief Executive Stephen Glancey.
It’s wholesale wine distribution division Gleesons saw volumes rise 9% with a 14% rise in on-trade volumes.
Outside Ireland, Magners saw a 12% increase in brand volume accompanied by an 11% increase in revenue.
C&C Group plc’s Half Year Results overall indicate a growth in Group revenues of 186% to €838.7 million with pre-tax profits up 20% to €55.9 million and operating profits rising 15.6% to €58.4 million (including a €6.1 million contribution from Matthew Clark & Bibendum in the UK).
C&C’s core business witnessed an increase in its net revenues of 6.4% to just over €309 million with operating profits up 4.0%.
“Encouragingly, our key brands have all delivered market share in their key markets and year-on-year revenue growth,” commented Stephen Glancey, adding that, “Our core business, wholesale and wine also performed well with 11% revenue growth, shipping 0.56 million cases of wine a 2% increase from last year.”
C&C is also to invest heavily in its Five Lamps craft beer brewery which increased revenues 50% and will also boost cider production at its Clonmel site.
For the UK’s Magners brand, C&C plans to move enough cider stock brewed in Clonmel across to the UK in order to avoid Brexit-associated transportation, logistics and bureaucracy issues for “at least two years” in such an event.
The Group also announced that it was in “meaningful discussions” to brew product for a number of European drinks companies for distribution in the UK from its Wellpark Brewery in Glasgow following Brexit.