Irish drinks group C&C has seen stronger growth than expected across the start of the financial year, as its Magner's cider brand continues to take take market share in the UK.
In a statement to its AGM in Dublin, the company said that both revenue and operating profit are "significantly ahead" of its forecasts, which "primarily reflects better than expected Magners' sales growth following its UK national roll-out in March of this year."
On its home territory, the Bulmers' brand - no relation to Scottish & Newcastle's cider operation - is also out-performing the Irish long alcoholic drinks market, helped by recent good weather. C&C is continuing with an expansion programme at its cider manufacturing plant, with a new bottling plant on stream since last month.
A 'constraint on the supply of CO2 to the UK and Irish markets' has caused some disruption to supplies of both both soft drinks and cider over the past few weeks, but the company does not expect this to hit its full-year performance.
C&C has also agreed the sale of its snacks busines, which is spearheaded by the Tayto crisps brand in the Republic, for €62.3m. . The proceeds will be used to pay down debt. The buyer is Largo Food Exports, which produces snacks including Hunky Dorys and Sam Spudz.