The boss of Magners owner C&C Group has quit after a second wet summer sunk first-half sales of the cider by more than 13%.

Chief executive Maurice Pratt resigned this week as it emerged total sales volumes of the Irish cider had fallen to £240m. Along with the poor summer, the company blamed its marketing and announced it was reviewing its strategy.

“We have initiated a fundamental review of our GB strategy,” said Pratt. “Now is the time to step down to allow a new CEO to devise a new strategy.”

But a cider industry source forecast tough times ahead. “Magners has to reduce its marketing spend without losing share to the ascending Bulmers and Gaymers,” he said. “Bulmers tastes identical to Magners but is lower-priced. This is the decisive factor for credit-crunched licensees and consumers.”