Off-trade props up flagging Magners

07 March, 2008

Magners' international sales volumes dipped 15 per cent in the year to Feb 29 despite a strong performance in the UK off-trade, producer C&C Group has said.

The brand's total UK volumes slumped 28 per cent in the second half of the year, compared with a year earlier, in spite of off-trade growth of around 70 per cent.

The brand has teamed up with Coors to launch a draught version in the on-trade, in a bid to claw back the market share it has been losing to Scottish & Newcastle brands Strongbow and Bulmers Original.

C&C said it expects the premium cider category to return to growth in 2008, and said a reorganisation and cost-cutting initiatives will help improve its financial performance.

Ex-Coors sales operations managing director John Holberry joins the company as managing director for Magners Great Britain on March 18.

The off-trade cider market grew 25 per cent by value to £538.4 million in the year to Jan 26, and 19 per cent by volume, according to Nielsen. Magners grew its sales by 65 per cent to £75.5 million in the same period.

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