C&C GROUP reported plunging profits yesterday as end-of-year results and fierce competition offset a double digit growth in revenues.
The cider-focused beverage company which produces well known brands such as Magners and Bulmers recorded a pre-tax loss of €68m (£49m) in the year ending 28 February, down from a €95m profit the previous year.
The firm said it lost market share to off-trade retailers and suffered a €150m impairment charge relating to investments in the US
In addition the firm lost a major packaging contract towards the end of 2014.
Chief executive Stephen Glancey said the firm would continue to improve capital efficency with the 2016 financial year a time for stabalisation and investment.
Overall the company saw net revenues climb 10 per cent as the company continued to perform well in its core Ireland and Scottish markets. However, this was not enough to offset tighter margins and intense competition, tipping the bottom line into the red. Despite its loss, C&C said it will pay a full-year dividend of 11.5 cents, up 15 per cent on the year before.
Despite the loss, shares closed three per cent higher.