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Ireland's C&C cuts 120 jobs as cider sales fall

Irish drinks group C&C said it will cut 120 jobs, largely at its Bulmers cider factory, to reduce costs as sales fall in Ireland and the UK.

“The group continues to face very difficult trading conditions in both its primary markets,” Stephen Glancey, C&C's chief operating officer, said.

“This is compounded by continuing competitive pressure in the group's core cider business and a loss of market share in both Ireland and Great Britain.”

The group said it would restructure its sales force, merge its Dublin operations into one office and cut staff at its Bulmers cider factory in Clonmel.

The Clonmel plant employs nearly 420 people and C&C has around 480 employees in total.

C&C is struggling to revive its premium cider sales as recession grips and a new chief executive, drafted in late last year, has warned that it would take a “good few years” to turn the company around.

C&C's stock has fallen nearly 80% over the past 12 months as a wet summer, even by Irish standards, hit sales last year of its cider, which had been marketed as a hot-weather drink to be consumed over ice.

In addition to C&C's Irish Bulmers brand and Magners cider sold in the UK, the group makes Tullamore Dew whiskey and Irish Mist liqueur. (Reuters)