C&C Group could be making more drinks in the UK post-Brexit

The owner of Tennent’s lager and Magners cider, C&C Group, has announced that it could be producing products for several European drinks companies at its Glasgow brewery post-Brexit.

As reported by Reuters, the Irish drinks group, which bought Matthew Clark and Bibendum earlier this year, is in advanced talks with producers in mainland Europe to manufacture products for them at its Glasgow brewery once Britain leaves the EU.

C&C Group chief executive Stephen Glancey told the news site that Brexit presented some opportunities for the company.

“You’ve got other manufacturers coming to us and saying ‘can you manufacture for us in the UK’? … The discussions are reasonably meaningful,” he said.

“We would be reasonably confident that we’ll pick up some volumes over the next two or three years at Wellpark (plant) in Glasgow, partly because of Brexit and partly because of the decline of sterling”.

Speaking of company plans should there be a ‘hard Brexit’, Glancey added: “We would pre-manufacture in the (Irish) Republic, so we’ve got liquid stock that would see us through two years,” Glancey said.

“We’d package that and get it over to the UK so that we can keep Magners flowing through Cheltenham (horse racing festival) and right through the summer, so there is no immediate risk there”.

Glancey’s comments follow the release of the company’s half year results which saw revenue growth of 186% to reach €838.7m and operating profit up 16% to €58.4m for the six months ending 31 August.

This includes the first contribution from Matthew Clark Bibendum, which C&C bought in April, while the group’s core business revenue netted over €309m, up 6.4%.

In the half year statement, Glancey said of the acquisition of Matthew Clark Bibendum (plus other subsidiaries in Conviviality’s wholesale arm): “Since the acquisition of Matthew Clark and Bibendum our absolute focus has been the stabilisation of the businesses.

“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”.

Further investment

Glancey also revealed that the company would be investing heavily in its Five Lamps Irish craft beer brand.

In the company’s half year results, the Dublin-based beer brand performed well, increasing revenues by 50%. Glancey told the Irish Examiner that C&C would be investing in a new brewery for the brand in the next three or four months.

Its also expected that the company will be spending between €1m to €2m on increasing cider production at its site in Co Tipperary.

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