C&G Group has reported total sales of €838.7m, and adjusted EBITDA of €66.2m, in six months to 31 August 2018.

Operating profit stood at €58.4m. Group revenue growth grew by 186% and operating profit was up 16% - €6.1m was down to acquisition of Matthew Clark and Bibendum in April 2018. Core C&C business net revenue increased by 6.4%.

C&C Group, a leading manufacturer, marketer and distributor of branded cider, beer, wine and soft drinks, said operational highlights during the period included the completion of the Matthew Clark and Bibendum businesses, a new distribution agreement in the UK and Ireland with Tsingtao and £6m invested in IT Systems and new Water Treatment Plant in Wellpark.

Revenue at Magners was up 11% and volumes up 12%, while Bulmers saw growth of 4% and 5%, respectively, and Tennent’s +7% and +0.1%.

Stephen Glancey, C&C Group CEO, said: “Trading through the first six months has been strong driven by favourable summer weather and the impact of the World Cup. Encouragingly, our key brands have all delivered market share in their key markets and year on year revenue growth.

“In our core business, wholesale and wine also performed well with +11% revenue growth, shipping 0.56 million cases of wine a 2% increase from last year.

He said that since the acquisition of Matthew Clark and Bibendum the focus has been on the stabilisation of the business. “By the end of September we settled £129m of monies owed to suppliers, paid taxes owed of £31m and collected £146m of monies due from customers.

“Cash flow remains strong and notwithstanding the acquisition our net debt(ix) to EBITDA(vi) at the half year was 2.1x. We are targeting 2.0x by end FY 2020,” he added.

The group also announced a series of changes to its board of directors. Having overseen the transition to a new chairman, Richard Holroyd, senior non-executive and director since 2004, is to step down from the board in the new year.

Geoffrey Hemphill, a non-executive director since 2017, has also informed of his intention to stand down from the board to concentrate on other business interests.

On his appointment as chairman Stewart Gilliland undertook a review of the composition of the Board to ensure that it has the right balance of skills and experience – particularly in light of the acquisition of Matthew Clark and Bibendum.

Gilliland concluded that the International Division would no longer be represented at the group board and the composition of the Board would be best comprised of a chairman, three executives (CEO, CFO and COO) and a reduced number of non-executive directors.

As such, executive director Joris Brams will stand down from the board. Non-executive directors Jim Clerkin, Vincent Crowley and Emer Finnan will remain and a search for new non-executive directors has commenced.