Magners producer C&C Group is predicting “modest” sales growth in 2008 as it struggles to cope against competition from rival cider brands and increasing production costs.
Delivering a trading statement today, the company said it is expecting a 9 per cent decline in revenue for the year ending Feb 29 2008, which it blames on the negative impact of the bad summer weather and a loss of market share.
Although off-trade volume sales of Magners grew 70 per cent last year, the growth was nowhere near the 393 per cent growth it experienced the previous year and on-trade sales were affected by Scottish & Newcastle’s decision to launch a draught version of its Bulmers cider brand.
The company said it hopes a series of marketing initiatives and a strengthened commercial presence in the UK this year will help drive sales.
Plans to launch a draught version of Magners in the on-trade in May and the appointment of John Holberry as managing director of Magners Great Britain later this month, are among those plans to fuel growth.
“C&C’s strategy is to drive growth in the premium cider category through a high level of consumer advertising in both Great Britain and Ireland. On the basis of normal summer weather, the group expects the premium cider category to return to growth in 2008,” the company said in its statement.
Maurice Pratt, C&C Group chief executive added: “Our objective in 2008/09 is to stabilise our financial and market performance, and, through a combination of management reorganisation, cost reduction and marketing initiatives, to deliver growth.”
C&C Group's preliminary results, for the year ending Feb 29, will be announced on 8 May.