S&N's beer sales down 4.5 per cent

07 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 Fosters, Kronenburg and Newcastle Brown Ale 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.”

However, the cider boom continued despite the rain, with revenue up 24.7 per cent. Strong investment in brands such as Bulmers Original, Strongbow Sirrus and Jacques is thought to be responsible for pushing up profits.

“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.

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