LAD volumes showed growth of nearly 1%, with growth up 4.7% in the off-trade. However on-trade LAD volumes remained under pressure declining by 2.2% during the 12-month period.
Irish net revenues for C&C were up 2% to €219.2 million, driven primarily by strong off-trade volume growth of its Irish ciders “plus the good on-trade performance in super-premium and craft as well as Wholesale”.
New product launches form competitors across the beer and cider categories kept the competition intense for C&C with any economic expansion here remaining concentrated in the major urban areas.
Cider increased its share of the LAD market to 13.0%, up from the previous year’s share of 12.7% with Bulmers having an excellent year, according to C&C, as volumes increased 1.6% and revenue was up 2.9%. Bulmers also increased its share of the LAD market to 7.8% and its share of the cider market to 60.2%.
“In line with the broader market, this growth was led by a strong outperformance in the off-trade, growing both volume and share from 45.4% to 49.2% while maintaining a price premium over standard lager at 10%.
“In support of the critical on-trade market we switched investment from above the line brand spend to enhanced in pub activation and created a separate branded sales team (combining Bulmers & Five Lamps),” states C&C, “Good progress was made in winning key on-trade, high volume accounts in Dublin.
“Accordingly, Bulmers share stabilised during the year in the on-trade.”
The report adds, “Our latest brand health scores confirm Bulmers as consistently ranked the No1 cider brand in Ireland across all measures and the No 3 brand in LAD”.
Wholesale distribution and wine
C&C Gleeson together with wine specialist Gilbey’s have seen significant momentum during the year with wholesale volume growth of 8% according to the report.
“This was driven by a strengthened management team, new customer wins and the enhanced range, service and value we can now offer with Matthew Clark and Bibendum as part of the Group. In Gilbey’s (now renamed Gilbey’s with Bibendum) we have the largest independent wine business in Ireland shipping 878k cases annually.”
Pre-tax profits for C&C Group as a whole were up 17% to €92.9 million from €79.2 million while net Group revenues (now including Matthew Clarke and Bibendum) were up 187% to €1.57 billion from €813.5 million the previous year with Operating Profit for the Group up 21% to €104.5 million before exceptional items, up from the previous year’s €86.1 million figure.
“2019 was of course an exceptional year for trading and the weather impact is not something we can necessarily hope to repeat,” commented Stephen Glancey, C&C Group Chief Executive,
“There remains uncertainty ranging from the impact of geo-political events to the as yet unclear Brexit process. Any such event could, of course, impact upon the economic environment within our key markets and consumer confidence. This includes currency risk and the ability to trade freely across borders. Naturally, we have taken all necessary steps to plan for the worst while hoping for the most rational outcome.”