C&C Group, which also owns the Bulmers and Magners cider brands, said sales in Scotland improved during the final three months of its financial year as the impact from tougher drink-drive limits, introduced in December 2014, “fell out of the comparatives”.
It added: “Share performance of the Tennent’s brand in the key independent free trade channel improved in the second half of the year.”
The firm also said that early indications from the launch of Tennent’s into the South African market in November were “encouraging” and plans are in place to increase distribution across a number of other countries across the continent.
Overall, Dublin-based C&C is forecasting a group operating profit of about €103 million (£79.5m) for the 12 months to the end of February, down from €115m the previous year. Its annual results will be announced on 11 May.
“Trading in the last quarter of the year provides grounds for optimism and the board is confident in the earnings prospects of the group in 2017,” the company said in an investor update.
However, it said the cider market in its home territory was losing share to other drinks, while its Bulmers brand was coming under pressure from rivals.