UK volumes of Magners increased for the first time since 2007 over the past six months.

C&C Group said UK volumes of its flagship cider were up 0.7% in the period to 31 August and up 1.6% in total. But volumes of Bulmers in Ireland fell by 3.4%.

Pre-tax profits were up by almost 21% to €63.4m, while the acquisitions last year of Gaymers cider and Tennent’s lager meant group sales doubled to €451.6m.

Chief executive John Dunsmore hailed a good first-half performance from the new brands.

C&C acquired Tennent’s last year when it snapped up the Scots business of AB InBev, while Gaymers came on board from Constellation Brands in a £45m deal.

“We are pleased to report the continued growth of the cider category in the UK and the return to modest volume growth for the Magners brand for the first time since 2007,” Dunsmore said.

“Our newly strengthened position in the long alcohol drinks sector leaves us well placed to continue with the Magner’s recovery.”

He added: “The group’s premium brands are in good health and it is reassuring to see the development of Magners internationally begin to provide some protection against the current market challenges of Ireland.”

Read more
C&C suffers profits slip but acquisitions boost volumes (25 May 2010)
C&C sells spirits arm to William Grant (30 April 2010)
C&C buys lager brand... to shore up ailing cider brand (analysis; 5 September 2009)