Sales of Tennent’s lager saw continued strong growth in overseas markets although the weak pound hit profits at parent firm C&C.
The Irish company, which is also behind brands such as Bulmers and Magners, said that the impact of the devaluation of sterling following the Brexit vote had cost it about €8 million (£6.9m) in the eight months following the UK’s decision to leave the EU.
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C&C also saw net revenues fall by 6.9 per cent to €559.5m in the year to 28 February, mainly due to declines in wholesale and US revenues. Operating profit was €95m, in line with the previous year but after writedowns the group reported a pre-tax loss of €62.9m compared to a profit of €56.3m.
The company said sales trends for beer and cider had improved following the previous year when tighter drink-driving legislation reduced on-trade consumption. Scottish volumes were flat against a GB-wide market that fell by 1 per cent.
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Tennent’s also enjoyed 17 per cent growth in export markets and C&C said it was “becoming an increasingly important contributor to our international story”. Volumes of Heverlee, C&C’s Belgian lager, grew by 41 per cent.
Stephen Glancey, C&C’s chief executive, said that, following a year of consolidation, it was in “materially better shape to meet the ongoing challenges and opportunities within our industry”.
The current year had started in line with expectations although the company said it remained “cautious given the outlook for the consumer across our markets”.