Overall, the LAD market fell 0.4% in the six month period. This compares with a 5% increase in LAD volumes overall in H1 of 2016.
Overall cider volumes showed a 1% decline against a very strong period of expansion in H1 2016 when it grew by 9%.
“The weaker market conditions were most keenly felt in the on-trade,” stated C&C which put the decline down to lower draught sales and claimed that, “Outcider has taken a 2% share of cider in the off-trade in its first six months and is pouring in 307 pubs.”
Revenues at C&C Ireland fell 5.7% to €183.6 million at constant currency for the six months to the end of August this year compared with the same period last year.
Operating profits, at €26.0 million were down 2.6% on the previous figure of €26.7 million in H1 2016.
Total volumes at C&C Ireland were also down 7.1% with Bulmers volumes part of the decrease at 5.1%. Last year the company could boast a 6% rise in volume.
Bulmers currently comprises around 30% of C&C’s total volume sales in Ireland and according to the report, “Bulmers (including Outcider) grew volumes in the off-trade by +2% year-on-year, outperforming a flat market and growing Bulmers brand family share”.
Together with its other cider brands C&C grew its share of off-trade cider to 56% MAT from 55% in the previous H1.
“In the on-trade publicans and consumers have responded positively to the Bulmers ‘100% Irish’ campaign as evidenced by a resilient rate of sale trend through the first half,” stated the company.
Bulmers claims to enjoy a significant rate of sale advantage in draught and packaged in the on-trade against all its major competitors. Bulmers on-trade market share in packaged remains “solid at 86% MAT” but down slightly on the ’16 H1 figure of 88% while share in draught softened as a result of reduced distribution to 73% MAT from 77%.
“The negative volume performance of Bulmers in the period therefore largely reflects our reduced draught distribution coverage together with the weaker on-trade cider category,” stated the company, adding that the 5% drop in Bulmers volumes “should be considered against a strong brand performance in the comparative period (+6%) and a reduction in the overall cider category.
“Overall, total branded beer and cider volumes in Ireland were down 3% in the year, in LAD markets down between 1-2%.”
The company added that, “Our C&C Gleeson wholesaling business continued to experience volume declines in line with the loss of draught distribution points. However our wine business was up 5% in the first half at 475k cases.”
Net revenues at parent company C&C Group were down 6.8% to €273.1 million in the six months to August compared to the previous H1 of €292.9 million with Operating Profits down 4.9% to €50.5 million.