C&C Group has reported a 'modest profit' for the month of December, after the re-introduction of restrictions in the hospitality sector slowed its growth expectations.
In a statement, the maker of Bulmers and Tennent's said that its operating profit outcome for the second half of the year will be 'affected by the nature, extent and duration of government restrictions', which have been introduced to curb the spread of the omicron variant.
In October, the group said that it was expecting operating profit for full-year to come in at around €50 million to €55 million, and added that trading in the period from September to November was 'modestly ahead of expectation and the stated guidance'.
This was driven by positive consumer sentiment and the return of customers to on-trade hospitality, it added, and boosted by the firm's ongoing cost reduction model.
In December, however, the return of government restrictions meant that C&C delivered 64% of expected volumes, as opposed to expectations of 90%.
'Strong Capital Structure'
'The Group has a strong capital structure which provides more than adequate liquidity to support its current and expected business needs, together with its strong free cash flow generation and conversion characteristics,' C&C said in its statement.
'As the pre-eminent brand led drinks distributor in the UK and Ireland, we have demonstrated our ability to effectively service demand during this period. We continue to drive efficiencies throughout our business in the form of permanent operating cost reduction.'
C&C will provide an updated operating profit range in its FY2022 pre close trading statement in March.