Bulmers owner C&C swings to loss in H1
Bulmers owner C&C said on Wednesday that it swung to an operating loss in the first half as revenues were hit by the Covid-19 pandemic.
In the six months to the end of August, the company swung to an operating loss of €11.7m from a profit of €64.4m in the same period a year ago, with revenues down 55.4% to €386.7m.
C&C said the on-trade channel was "materially" impacted due to the worsening impact of the coronavirus from late February into the first half and the consequent lockdown restrictions between March and July.
C&C said the near-term outlook for the on-trade sector remains challenging and uncertain, with the key Christmas trading period likely to be dented by continuing restrictions across the hospitality industry.
The off-trade segment - which comprises sales outside of pubs, hotels and restaurants - fared better during the half, with revenue up 15.6%.
Interim executive chairman Stewart Gilliland said: "Driven by strong demand in the off-trade and the gradual reopening of the on-trade in our core markets, the business returned to profit generation in July through to September.
"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. Although we expect the pace of recovery will continue to vary, as the largest independent alcohol distributor across the UK and Ireland, our business is structurally integral to the markets we serve."