C&C Group, the Irish drinks company, has announced that John Dunsmore will step down as its chief executive at the end of the year and will be succeeded by its current chief operating officer and finance director Stephen Glancey. The departure of the former Scottish & Newcastle (S&N) chief executive, who took up the reins at C&C in 2008, will reignite speculation linking him with the Mitchells & Butlers chief executive role. Dunsmore, who also sits on the board at Fuller’s, was reported to have been approached about the role in 2008 when he was set to leave S&N after its takeover by Heineken and Carlsberg. On his upcoming departure from C&C, he said: “It has been a period of intense activity and progress and I have decided that, with the strategic course of the business established, this is the right time for me to hand over the baton to Stephen Glancey. I am confident that, with his leadership, C&C will continue to make excellent progress. I will continue to support C&C as an investor." C&C's Chairman Sir Brian Stewart said: "On behalf of the Board, I would like to thank John for leading an executive team that over the last three years has delivered a substantial turnaround of C&C and transformed the group during a period of worldwide economic turbulence. He will leave with our best wishes. “I am delighted that Stephen Glancey, the group's designated successor, will be leading the next phase of our development. Stephen has played a vital role within the group over the past three years, including the successful acquisition and integration of the Tennent's and Gaymers businesses. He has laid the foundation for the international development of the group's cider brands." The group said that Kenny Neison would become its new finance director, with further senior management appointments set to be announced in due course. The announcement of Dunsmore’s departure came as the producer of Magners reported a net revenue decline of 5.3% for the six month to 31 August, which it said was due to a mix of market pressures and a “deliberate pursuit of value ahead of volume in the GB off trade channel” for both its Tennent's brand and parts of its Gaymers portfolio. The company reported revenue of Eu399.3m for the six months to 31 August compared to Eu440m in 2010. Operating profit was up by 7.8% from the same period the previous year at Eu67.4m The group said that poor weather in July/August added to negative 2010 FIFA World Cup comparatives in June had reversed the strong growth experienced in the cider category during the first quarter. It described the performance of Magners as “resilient”, with the brand reporting a volume increase of 4.9% reflecting 2.9% growth in Great Britain and 22.7% export growth. However, Bulmers volumes fell by 3.5% in what the company described as challenging Irish market. The company reported a 27.3% volume decline across its Gaymers portfolio, which it said was attributable in part to a “deliberate reduction in own label/value for money activity where the economics on the supply side remain unattractive”. It said that revenue loss for the brand was slightly lower than the volume trend, “reflecting the weighting of the portfolio toward branded volume, but it is significant”. It said: “The branded portfolio has suffered from increased levels of competition in the category. However, the delivery of synergies and a re-allocation of marketing investment to Magners have provided protection from the combined impact of revenue decline and reduced operational leverage. Operating margin has increased from 2.9% to 9.9%.” Dunsmore said: “C&C is pleased to report a robust financial performance despite a tough second quarter for the trade in both the UK and Ireland where poor weather added to the challenge presented by low consumer confidence levels. “The underlying strength of our brands and stability of our business model is evident in the continued delivery of steady growth in earnings, dividends and strong cash flow in difficult trading conditions. “We remain confident of meeting the previously stated guidance of operating profit in the range of Eu108m to EuR115m for the full year.”