Tennent’s owner C&C sees cost-of-living squeeze hit pub and restaurant sales

Tennent’s lager owner C&C Group has warned of a summer slowdown in pub and restaurant sales as the cost-of-living crisis bites.

In a stock market update ahead of next month’s first-half results, the drinks group said trading across the six months to the end of August saw demand return “robustly” at the start of the period. However, consistent with the wider market and the impact of inflation on discretionary consumer spending, C&C has seen a slowdown in on-trade momentum over the second quarter.

The Irish drinks group, whose other brands include Magners cider and Heverlee and Menabrea beers, said it expects to deliver net revenues of about €900 million (£780m) in the first half of its financial year, some 35 per cent up on the same period last year and broadly in line with the comparable period pre-pandemic.

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First-half operating profit is expected to be in the range of €52m to £55m, compared to €16m the prior year and €64m pre-Covid.

Tennent's, which is brewed at the Wellpark brewery in Glasgow, is Scotland's biggest selling lager brand. Picture: Andy Buchanan

The group also flagged a further reduction in its leverage multiple. As a consequence of its balance sheet strength and strong cash flow generating capability, the firm plans to review the potential return of capital to shareholders, including dividends, in the second half of this year.

C&C is due to announce its first-half results on October 27.

In July, the group reported “solid” trading but warned that inflationary pressures could trigger fresh price hikes.

In May, C&C reported strong sales of Tennent’s which will now come in a lighter weight pint can as it looks to keep a lid on soaring costs.

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Price hike warning as Tennent’s lager owner C&C reports sales ahead of pre-pande...