Dublin-based C&C Group closed its financial year 2022 with 'a robust return to trading' on the back of strong consumer demand, according to a pre-close trading statement.
In January of this year, the company saw positive trading in the on-trade sector following the easing of pandemic-related restrictions in the UK and Ireland – its core markets.
The company returned to trading with 81% of directly delivered outlets in February 2022, compared with February 2020, with corresponding volumes at 68%.
In a trading update on 7 January, the Bulmers maker said that its operating profit for the second half of the year was affected due to renewed government restrictions on the hospitality industry, particularly during the Christmas trading period.
As a result, C&C expects to report an operating profit in the range of €45 million to €47 million for its full financial year ended 28 February 2022.
C&C Group added that it will continue to focus on services it provides for its brands and partnership brands as trading recovers.
Inflationary Cost Environment
The company noted that it is operating in an inflationary cost environment and has managed to offer a degree of protection through its €18 million cost-reduction plan, price increases, and input cost hedging.
In addition to managing both operating and input costs, C&C’s network and its technology-led system have supported its drinks distribution business in the UK and Ireland.
At the end of FY2022, it expects net debt to be approximately €263 million, down from €442 million at the end of its previous financial year.
The company hopes that net debt reduction and improved business performance will enhance its financial flexibility and allow it to deliver on its strategic objectives.
C&C Group will announce its FY2022 results on 17 May, at which it will provide further insight into its strategy, medium-term targets, capital allocation framework, and sustainability agenda, it said.