Drinks group C&C said it has been encouraged by the way in which trade is recovering in the UK since the gradual reopening from April and in Ireland from June 7 as outdoor hospitality reopened.

In a trading update ahead of its AGM today, C&C noted that restrictions in both markets remain, with the timing and nature of further easing still uncertain.

In the week ending June 27, C&C said it delivered to 82% of businesses compared to the same week in 2019.

It said that as social distancing and indoor restrictions remain in place, volume throughput is adversely impacted through the customers that are currently operating.

"Nevertheless, we are encouraged by trading in recent weeks, with good weather aiding outdoor trading over the period," it added.

The group has a large portfolio of alcoholic and non-alcoholic drinks, including brands such as Bulmers, Magners and Tennent's, Blackthorn Cider, Santa Rita and Moondara wines, Tipperary Water and Finches.

C&C also said that after the progressive easing of restrictions since April and the partial recovery in the on-trade, it recorded a modest trading profit in May, with this improving further in June.

David Forde, chief executive of C&C Group, said that despite restrictions still in place and confirmed delays to full reopening, it remains cautiously optimistic about the gradual recovery of the hospitality sector in its core markets of the UK and Ireland.

He said the company looks forward to continuing to support its customers as restrictions are removed.

"As we navigate through this period, our focus is to continue to build and develop our brand and system strength, which underpins C&C's position as the leading brand-led distributor in the UK and Irish drinks market," David Forde said.

"Our recent successful capital raise has strengthened the balance sheet and positions the group to take advantage of opportunities to strengthen and grow our business as we return to a more normalised trading environment," he added.