C&C Group Issues Update In Light Of COVID-19
Bulmers cider manufacturer C&C Group plc has released a trading update in light of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Health and Safety
C&C said that its priority is protecting the health and well-being of its people, customers, suppliers, business
partners and community. The group said that it is continuously monitoring the advice provided by the health authorities and, in line with that guidance, it has implemented an extensive range of measures to provide the safest environment it can for its stakeholders.
C&C's supply chain and production network remains fully operational, and the group said that it remains committed
to supporting the trade.
C&C said that since its FY20 trading update was issued earlier this month, market conditions have deteriorated
and it is now clear that COVID-19 will have a material impact on group performance in the current financial year (FY21).
Given the ongoing uncertainty, C&C said that it is unable to accurately quantify the expected impact of COVID-19 on its financial and trading performance at this stage. However, the group expects a material reduction to its prior expectations for FY21. The scale of this reduction will depend on how the situation develops, over what time frame and the impact of further measures implemented by the Irish and UK governments.
C&C said that it is committed to ensuring that its market leading positions are preserved and, with the obvious on-trade disruption, it has reallocated additional resources behind its core brands' off-trade channels, where it said it continues to perform strongly.
Operational Actions and Liquidity
C&C said that it is working proactively to maximise cash, maintain a strong liquidity position and protect profits.
The group said that its net debt/EBITDA was below its target 2.0x at February 29, 2020, and included c. €137 million (unaudited) of cash on hand. C&C stated that it has further strengthened its liquidity position since that time,
drawing down a further c. €210 million from its RCF.
In addition to its bank facilities, C&C has a non-recourse, committed debtor securitization facility of £200 million, which was 55% utilised as of February 29, 2020.
The group therefore believes that, based on the measures detailed above and underpinned by its strong free cash flow generation and conversion characteristics, that it is well-positioned to withstand a material decrease in business activity during 2020.
C&C said that its board is continuing to closely monitor performance in what is a rapidly changing trading environment and that it will provide updates as appropriate.
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