Bulmers cider manufacturer C&C Group plc has released a trading update for the 12 months to February 29, 2020.
The update stated that adjusted EPS growth of above 10% is in line with the group's stated guidance for FY20 and follows prior year double-digit EPS growth.
C&C said that, consistent with recent performance, free cash flow generation and conversion continues to be strong, consequently leading to a net debt/EBITDA multiple below the group’s stated target of 2.0x.
Brand-Led Distribution Model
Delivery of C&C's brand-led distribution model progressed to the group's plan in FY20, with Matthew Clark and Bibendum reporting blended operating margins within the stated range of guidance for this time following acquisition. C&C said that these businesses continue to perform well against key financial metrics and performance targets, with identified synergy benefits being realised.
In January, C&C launched a "Drinks Industry Sustainability Index – Trends Report" in collaboration with sustainable research company, Footprint Intelligence. The report analyses the extent to which the drinks industry is adopting sustainable strategies and practices for packaging, waste, water, emissions, energy, social impact and raw materials, and helps identify sustainable operating practices to assist in the reduction of the drinks industry's carbon footprint. C&C said that this initiative aligns with its sustainability commitment of being 100% carbon-neutral by 2025, a target that the group said it is on course to deliver.
C&C said that the process to appoint a new CEO is progressing, with global executive search firm Spencer Stuart formally engaged.
C&C reaffirmed its medium-term guidance for the group of mid to high single-digit EPS growth. This guidance assumes no material or prolonged impact from COVID-19, which C&C said it is monitoring closely. C&C will announce preliminary results for FY20 on May 13, 2020.
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