Drinks group C&C has said that trading over the third quarter was "resilient" in its core Irish and Scottish markets.

In an interim management statement, the company said that trading over the Christmas period was satisfactory and in line with expectations.

C&C shares closed 2.7% higher in Dublin trade.

C&C maintained its guidance for double digit operating profit growth in its current financial year to bring operating profits to between €125m and €132m.

The company said that volumes in its Irish business grew in the months from September to January, maintaining the improvement in market conditions seen earlier this year.

It said the Gleeson business performed in line with expectations with its ongoing integration programme on track.

Irish volumes for the nine months to end of November rose by 3.5% while net revenues jumped by 176%. 

But trading for the company's Cider UK division remained challenging. The performance of its cider brands was broadly in line with the first half. Volumes fell by 13.5% while net revenues declined by 17.5% in the nine months to end of November.

C&C said its international volumes grew on the back of growth from cider and beer sales in Europe and some newer markets. Volumes for the nine months to November jumped by almost 90% while net revenues soared by 92%.

"Balance sheet strength, resilient core markets and strong free cash flow conversion broaden the available range of options to deliver increased shareholder value," the company said in today's statement.