C&C UPBEAT DESPITE WEAK CIDER SALES

IRISH cider-maker C&C said yesterday it expects operating profit to increase by between one and six per cent this year after a strong first quarter across its other portfolios helped offset weak cider sales. C&C, which sells cider under the Magners, Bulmers and Gaymers brands, said volumes rose 5.4 per cent in Ireland and 21.6 per cent in the UK in the three months to 31 May. It expects full-year operating profit of €112-€118m.