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C&C Flags Dampened December Sales On Omicron Hit

Irish drinks producer C&C Group Plc said on Friday December sales lagged expectations, as renewed restrictions across the UK and Ireland due to rising cases of Omicron coronavirus variant hurt its supplies to restaurants and pubs.

However, the Dublin-based maker of Bulmers cider and Tennent's beer said it had squeezed out a 'modest profit' for the holiday month and cautioned that earnings for the second half of fiscal 2022 would depend on how the curbs progress.

Shopper Numbers Fall 

Number of shoppers in Britain deteriorated sharply in December, while government advice for people to limit social contacts in the run-up to Christmas left pubs and restaurants largely empty during what should be one of their busiest periods.

Cost cuts, along with the return of customers to hospitality venues during the September-November period and higher prices of drinks helped C&C witness a robust third quarter, it said.

In December, C&C managed to deliver just 64% of beverage volumes to "on-trade" customers, compared with an expectation of 90%.

Full Year 2022 Forecast

In late October 2021 the group indicated that, assuming current trading conditions prevailed, its full year 2022 operating profit was expected to be in the range of €50-€55 million.

Update on Capital Markets Day

According to the company, prioritising the safety and well-being of all stakeholders, focusing on its business operations, and supporting its customers while fully complying with government and public health advice, has led the group to make the decision to postpone its Capital Markets Day scheduled for 19 January 2022 in London.

'We will reconvene at the earliest practicable date, when we can safely accommodate in-person attendance to meet with analysts and investors,' C&C said.

News by Reuters additional reporting and edited by Donna Ahern, Checkout. For more Drinks stories click here. Click subscribe to sign up for the Checkout print edition.

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