C&C Group, the owner of Tennent's lager and Magners cider, has said that it expects to report revenues of €1.685 billion in its current financial year, an increase of 18% on full-year 2022.
Volumes for the year are expected to be 4% higher, it said in a trading update.
The group is expecting operating profit to come in at around €84 million for the year, compared to €48 million the previous year, with the group saying that its performance was affected by 'softer than expected' Christmas trading and the impact of strikes in the UK market.
It noted that its core brands, Bulmers and Tennent's, both continue to grow category share.
Net Debt Reduction
It has also announced a 'significant reduction' in net debt, to approximately €150 million and a leverage multiple of 1.3x, compared with €271 million and 3.4x at the end of FY2022.
'Given the strength of the balance sheet and cash flow generation, C&C intends to recommence dividend payments following the announcement of its FY2023 results and will evaluate the potential for further capital returns to shareholders in due course,' the company said.
Elsewhere, C&C is investing in the digital transformation of its UK operations, a process that is 'taking longer than originally envisaged', and has had some consequent impact on service and profitability, it noted.
The group will announce its full-year results on 24 May.
Commenting on its performance, Greg Johnson, analyst with Shore Capital, said "The full year outturn is expected to be consistent with the revised guidance in early January, albeit at the low end, and at this stage we maintain our FY24F estimates.
"Encouragingly, key brands continue to take share, debt is better than expected and the dividend is to be reinstated."
Read More: C&C Group Reports 'Solid Trading Performance' In Early FY2023
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