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C&C’s profits fizz up thanks to hot summer and two “transformational” acquisitions

C&C snapped up drinks suppliers Matthew Clark and Bibendum from the collapsed Conviviality last April, while bosses acknowledged the impact of last summer’s “exceptional” weather

beer garden
People were evidently keen to get out in pub gardens and enjoy a cider or five last summer

Profits at cider and lager maker C&C Group PLC (LON:CCR) surged by more than a fifth last year, helped by the “transformational” acquisitions of Matthew Clark and Bibendum last spring.

C&C, which owns the Magners cider and Tennents lager brands, salvaged Matthew Clark and Bibendum from the wreckage of Conviviality, which collapsed in April.

READ: C&C earnings to be at “upper end” of forecasts

With the contribution from the two drinks suppliers, net revenue almost trebled to €1.57bn in the year ended 28 February (2018: €0.55bn). Pre-tax profits climbed by 17% to €92.9mln (2018: €79.2mln).

As C&C had guided for in a trading update back in March, earnings per share jumped 21% to 26.6 cents (2018: 22.0 cents).

As well as the two acquisitions, bosses put the outperformance down to last summer’s “exceptional” weather, which they conceded “is not something we can necessarily hope to repeat.”

Off to a “solid start” in new year

“FY2019 was a transformational year for the company,” said chief executive Stephen Glancey.

“Despite strong multi beverage brand led positions in Ireland and Scotland, access to the wider UK on-trade had always been a challenge, the acquisition of Matthew Clark and Bibendum changes this dynamic.”

Looking ahead, Glancey said it was a “challenge” to predict this year’s performance given the various economic and political uncertainties.

But he said the company had made a “solid start” to the financial year, in-line with expectations, and that he was targeting double-digit earnings growth.

Shares edged 1.1% higher on Wednesday morning to €3.64, valuing the company at €1.1bn.

Quick facts: C&C Group PLC

Price: 385 GBX

LSE:CCR
Market: LSE
Market Cap: £1.19 billion
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