Drinks group C&C said that its net revenue for the six months to the end of August slumped by 55.4% to €386.7m which resulted in an operating loss of €11.7m.

C&C said the outbreak of Covid-19 coincided with its financial year end, which meant that the entire six month performance being reported today was impacted.

The Bulmers and Magners cider maker said that on the back of strong demand in the off-trade and the gradual reopening of the on-trade in its core markets, the business returned to profit generation in July up to September. 

C&C also said that a part of a strategic review, it had sold the non-core Tipperary Water Cooler business, for an initial consideration of €7.4m.

Further consideration may be payable and is dependent on further revenue targets being met, the company added.

The company said its supply chain and production facilities remained fully operational through Covid-19, including its Clonmel manufacturing facility.

It noted that in Ireland the pub trade began re-opening from the end of June, but through a combination of local and subsequent national restrictions the on-trade has not been allowed to fully re-open since March. 

As at August this year the business was trading with 47% of the outlets it traded with in the same time last year, it added.

In July, C&C named David Forde as its new CEO. The former Heineken executive will join the company on November 2.

Stewart Gilliland, C&C Group's interim executive chairman said that although it expects the pace of recovery will continue to vary, as the largest independent alcohol distributor across the UK and Ireland, the business is structurally integral to the markets it serves. 

"Our near term focus is securing our position and enhancing the performance of the business, while positioning C&C to deliver for customers and shareholders over the long term," he added.

C&C makes, markets and distributes branded beer, cider, wine, spirits and soft drinks across the UK and Ireland. Its brands include Bulmers and Magners cider, Tennents beer, Five Lamps craft beer, Tipperary Water; and Finches soft drinks.