Cider loses appeal for C&C Group

Michael Bow
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Sales of Magners and Bulmers took a hit in May as signs of summer were few and far between
COLD weather in May has put pub-goers off ice-filled pints of cider, the maker of Magners and Bulmers said yesterday.

C&C Group, which also makes Tennent’s Lager, said revenues between March and the end of June were lower than expected – paving the way for flat earnings growth this year.

A drink driving clampdown in Scotland has also reduced drinkers’ appetites for cider and lager in rural pubs, according to the group, adding to the headache.

Plans to integrate booze distributor Wallaces Express into the group following its acqusition in 2014 would also lead to a “short term trading dip,” it added.

The Irish brewer has a US business and a division focused on England and Wales, both of which performed better.

The company does not provide financial details on revenue and volumes in its interim statements after ditching them in favour of a descriptive statement format last year.

C&C has long held the dominant position in the UK’s cider market but recent launches by larger brewers such as Carling’s British Cider brand, Stella Artois’ Cidre and Heinken’s Orchard Thieves has put this under threat.

The group counts former Standard Life chairman Sir Brian Stewart as chairman.