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C&C Group On Track For Profit Growth But Trading Still Weak In US

July 3, 2014

Rowena Harris-Doughty

LONDON (Alliance News) - Irish beer and cider marker C&C Group PLC Thursday said trading in the first four months of its financial year remained challenging in some of its markets, especially in the US, but said it remains on track for mid-single digit operating profit growth for the full year.

In a statement Thursday, the Irish and UK-based manufacturer and distributor of cider, beer, wine and soft drinks, including the ciders Magners and Bulmers, said the trading environment for cider in England and Wales remains challenging, but added that it had made some progress in stabilising its brands and earning during the first four months of its financial year that began March 1.

The company said trading in the US in the four month period remained weak, but broadly in line with management expectations. The company's new USD34 million cidery is scheduled to officially open on August 23.

"Excluding the USA, volumes in other export markets were up double digits in the first four months of the year," the company said in its statement.

In Ireland and Scotland, C&C said its brand-led wholesaler model delivered a good performance in the first four months of the year, but warned of tougher comparatives in the regions for the remainder of the second quarter.

"Comparatives for the second quarter are tougher but the business remains on track for good earnings growth from both territories," the company said.

"Overall, the business appears to be moving in the right direction but the missed element as it stands is the USA where we really need to see some signs improvement in the second quarter," said analysts at Shore Capital in a research note about C&C Thursday.

C&C shares were down 0.7% at EUR4.57 Thursday morning.

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Source: Alliance News

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