C&C Group has blamed the wet weather for a disastrous performance in the past three months.
Sales of Magners cider tumbled by more than 25% in the period to 31 May, with volumes down almost 22%.
C&C admitted the fall in consumption led to “some overstocking in the supply chain and consequential pressure on retail pricing”. The group vowed to step up commercial support for the brand and said it expected volumes to pick up during the second half of 2012.
Gaymers continued to struggle, with sales down 24%, although C&C claimed it had seen “early signs of encouragement” from the brand’s relaunch in May.
Sales of Tennent’s lager were up 5.4% as higher prices offset a 6% dip in volumes. In the company’s Irish homeland, meanwhile, sales were down 11.5%, thanks in part to falling prices amid ongoing economic strife in the country.
A spokesman for the group pointed to improving international sales as a sign the business was performing well in light of the economy. Exports were up 47%, buoyed by the acquisition of Hornsby’s in the US. The spokesman also claimed Tennent’s was making good progress in a number of new markets.
“Despite a challenging quarter and tough consumer backdrop, we are confident that our resilient business model and strong brand market combinations will deliver continued earnings growth for the full year and maintain our business momentum,” said chief executive Stephen Glancey.