Magners sales fell 11% in the nine months to 30 November

Magners cider has continued to struggle, producer C&C has revealed, driven by a decline in sales at the multiple retailers.

Volume sales of Magners fell 11% in the nine months to 30 November, with C&C Group’s other cider brands - including Bulmers and Gaymers - falling 17.1%.

The cider producer said UK trading continued to be “challenging”, and reported its overall cider portfolio down 17.5%, on volumes down 13.5%.

This was despite relatively steady on-trade volumes and a £3m investment in the Magners brand announced in August.

Tennent’s UK also saw decline in both value and volumes, with net sales down 2.9% and volumes down 4.7%, although the company reported strong sales of Tennent’s lager in licensee-operated pubs in Scotland.

Third-party brands saw growth of 4.9% in net sales, on volumes up 12.6%.

Trading in core Irish and Scottish markets during Q3 was “resilient”, C&C added, and the Christmas period was “in line with expectation”.

However, C&C fared best in international markets, where net sales were up 92.5% on volumes up 89%. This was attributed to developing opportunities and innovation in cider and beer, although C&C admitted sales in the US had been impacted by changes to distribution.