Drinks group C&C has reported a near 28% increase in half yearly revenues, while its operating profits rose by almost 8%.
Revenues for the six months to the end of August increased by 27.8% to €336.7m while operating profits grew by 7.9% to €71.1m
The company said that after a weak first quarter, it saw an improved performance in each of each domestic markets in the second quarter boosted by the warm summer weather.
In Ireland, C&C said that the pub trade channel outperformed off-licence sales for the first time in seven years. It said it experienced volume and revenue growth in Ireland as the Bulmers cider brand outperformed the long alcoholic drinks (LAD) market.
The integration of the Gleeson Group is progressing and is on track to deliver expected synergy benefits, C&C added.
The company reaffirmed its guidance to deliver full year earnings growth of between 10% and 16%, resulting in an operating profit range of about €125m to €132m.
Reflecting its "continued performance and prospects", C&C declared an interim dividend of 4.3 cent per share for the year ending February 2014, up 7.5% on the 2013 interim dividend.
Breaking down the company's divisions, C&C said that revenues at its Republic of Ireland operations increased by 8.7% to €181.2m while operating profits increased by 12% to €28.2m. It said its LAD volume grew by 16.8% in the second quarter compared to a decline of 11.5% in the first.
In the six months to August, volumes of LAD in Ireland fell by 2%. C&C said that over the past 18 months, the gap in channel performance has been narrowing, and for the first time in seven years, on-trade - or pub sales - volumes relatively outperformed as they declined by 1% with the off-licence trade channel slowing by 2%.
Revenues at C&C's UK cider division fell by 15.5% to €92.4m while operating profits declined by 31.2% to €13.7m. It noted that flavoured cider volume growth was exceptionally strong in the first half of the year at 49%. C&C said that revenues at its Tennent's UK division slipped by 4.6% to €109.2m while operating profits rose by 9.2% to €16.6m.
Operating profits at C&C's International division fell by 9.5% to €9.7m while revenues fell 14% to €41.4m and the company said that operational integration in the US is now almost complete with production, packaging, logistics and support functions now based from one single site in Vermont.
"FY 2014 is a transition period for C&C. Integration and performance of recently acquired business is a core focus," commented the company's group chief executive Stephen Glancey.
"We are transitioning to a multi-beverage model in our domestic markets and continue to position the business to capitalise on international category growth. We will focus on continued operating efficiency, deliver earnings growth and enjoy the benefits of a strong balance sheet," he added.