(Alliance News) - C&C Group PLC on Wednesday posted a swing to loss for the first half of financial 2021 as the Covid-19 outbreak caused a significant reduction in revenue but noted an improvement in its September trading performance.
Shares in the FTSE 250-listed manufacturer and distributor of soft drinks and alcoholic beverages were trading 1.2% higher at 179.40 pence each.
For the six months ended August 31, C&C reported a pretax loss of EUR32.4 million, swinging from a profit of EUR53.6 million the year prior. This was as revenue plunged 55% year-on-year to EUR541.4 million from EUR1.09 billion.
"The outbreak of Covid-19 coincided with our financial year-end and has meant that the entire six month performance being reported today, was impacted," said Interim Executive Chair Stewart Gilliland.
No interim dividend was declared, compared to 5.50 euro cents the year prior.
The Magners cider and Bulmer manufacturer stated that while its business had returned to profit alongside the reopening of pubs, hotels and restaurants in July through to September, it warned that its outlook remained challenging with limited near-term visibility, adding that trading in October is challenged by further on-trade restrictions in both the UK and Ireland. The company also forecast that the Christmas trading period will likely be hurt by continuing restrictions across the hospitality industry.
"We are adapting to this temporary change in consumption dynamics and whilst it will invariably reduce short term profitability, we fundamentally believe in the medium and long-term outlook for the on-trade channel. We remain confident in the inherent strength of our local brands, our unparalleled route to market and the medium to long term prospects for C&C," Gilliland added.
Net debt as at August-end was EUR371.6 million, up from EUR326.9 million at February 29. Current liquidity as at Tuesday - excluding the Covid Corporate Financing Facility and debtor securitisation facility - was EUR387 million.
By Ife Taiwo; firstname.lastname@example.org
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