Poor weather conditions knocked Bulmers owner C&C group’s revenues down by 4.9% to €548.2 million for the 12 months ending 28 February, 2018.
The group, which also produces Tennent’s, saw its operating profit fall by 7% to €86.1 million. Its operating margin dropped 40 basis points to 15.7%.
However, these results were in line with analysts' expectations, despite weather disruption across the sector.
Stephen Glancey, C&C Group CEO, said, “FY2018 was a significant year of progress for the Group, both in terms of strategic development as well as improved underlying performance.
“While the trading environment in our key markets of the UK and Ireland remained challenging, our branded portfolio returned to volume and revenue growth, outperforming the broader LAD market.”
C&C’s branded volumes increased by 0.3%, while its revenues increased by 0.8%.
C&C invested heavily in its Bulmers brand in Ireland during the year. The group launched a new cider, Outcider by Bulmers, and introduced a new marketing campaign for Bulmers Original cider under the tag-line “100% Irish”.
However, despite the increase of options and brand affinity that these strategies brought to the group, overall Bulmers brand volumes fell by 6%.
The group reported that its craft and super-premium range, including its Five-Lamps brand, experienced “another good year”.
C&C also reported that it returned €78 million to shareholders through share buybacks and dividends.
The Irish cider maker recently extended its reach into the UK market after it acquired the wholesale arm of British drinks firm Conviviality.
© 2018 Checkout – your source for the latest Irish retail news. Article by Aidan O’Sullivan. Click subscribe to sign up for the Checkout print edition.