Drinks group C&C today said it had suffered weaker-than-expected trading in the first quarter following the introduction of tougher drink-drive limits in Scotland.
The Tennent’s owner also said in a trading update that its core markets of Ireland and Scotland were hit by unseasonably cold and wet weather in May.
“The recent tightening of ‘drink-driving’ regulation in Scotland adds to the challenges already faced by the on-premise channel and rural/community pubs appear to have been disproportionately affected,” Dublin-based C&C said.
Its statement, covering the three months to the end of May, came the day after Belhaven Best owner Greene King said the change in law had knocked like-for-like sales in its core business by 0.5 per cent in the first eight weeks of its new financial year.
The Scottish Government launched the crackdown in December, limiting drivers to having 50mg of alcohol in their blood, down from 80mg, making it lower than the rest of the UK.
C&C, which also owns the Magners and Gaymers cider brands, said: “Following weaker-than-expected trading conditions in the first quarter, we anticipate a gradual improvement in core market performance as the year progresses. In the US and other export markets, a return to growth is the target.”