Weather blamed for drop in profits

09 August, 2007

Scottish & Newcastle says it will be "very challenging" to meet this year's trading targets due to June and July's bad weather affecting beer sales.

Results for the first six months of this year show the brewer making an operating profit of £76 million - a 9.5 per cent decrease on the same period last year.

The wet weather throughout the early summer and no World Cup led to volume sales of S&N beers such as Foster's, Kronenburg and Newcastle Brown falling 4.5 per cent in the off-trade. Chairman Sir Brian Stewart said: "The continuation into July of exceptionally adverse weather, in the UK and France in particular, will make the achievement of this year's trading targets very challenging."

But S&N's cider revenues were up 24.7 per cent as the sector boomed.

"In the UK, Strongbow grew revenue by 16.4 per cent from volume up 12.9 per cent and gained share of mainstream cider. Our ongoing investment in innovation has contributed to significant revenue growth across a portfolio of packaged brands that has rapidly gained more than a quarter of the premium over ice market," said Stewart.

Worldwide, S&N made a pre-tax profit of £191 million, a 5.5 per cent rise, boosted by growing beer sales in Russia

Carlsberg has reported like-for-like sales growth in Western Europe - from 12 per cent to 12.7 - during the three months to June 30, partly due to the UK market.

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