In an interim management statement issued ahead of its AGM today, 3 June, drinks group C&C said that trading conditions in its core UK and Irish markets were difficult in the three months to the end of May and are expected to remain so for the rest of the year.
However, despite difficult trading conditions for the first half of 2013, the group expects operating profit for the financial year of 2014 to range from €125 million to €132 million, representing a 10% to 16% growth in earnings.
C&C said that markets were weaker in March and April due to the unseasonably cool spring, while May saw a 'relative improvement', according to the drinks maker. Overall volumes in Ireland were down by 11.5% for the three months to the end of May, while net revenue fell by 13%.
UK cider volumes for the three month period fell by 22.2% while volumes in its Tennent's UK division were down 12.4%.
Business soared however in its international division, with volumes jumping 77.7% and net revenues up by 76.6%, owing to the acquisition of the Vermont Hard Cider company.
In a statement, the company said that it had completed its acquisition of the Gleeson Group, which is now being combined with its existing cider and beer business and will provide C&C with a platform to 'drive growth across the market'.