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C&C Slumps as Says Difficult Trading to Persist: Dublin Mover

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July 3 (Bloomberg) -- C&C Group Plc fell to its lowest in eight months after saying that difficult trading conditions in the first quarter are expected to persist and full-year operating profit guidance was at the bottom of analysts’ estimates.

C&C fell as much as 9.9 percent in intraday Dublin trading to 3.73 euros, the lowest since Nov. 2. The drinks maker was the biggest decliner on the benchmark ISEQ Index.

“The trading statement this morning does little to convince us with reasons as to why sentiment towards the stock will improve in the near term,” said David Holohan, an analyst at Merrion Stockbrokers in a note today. “We expect the share price to continue to come under pressure.”

C&C said today it expects full-year operating profit of between 125 million euros ($162 million) and 132 million euros, compared with a mean estimate of 132 million euros, based on nine analysts surved by Bloomberg. The Dublin-based drinks company said first-quarter sales volumes in the U.K. and Ireland were weaker, driven by unseasonably cold weather in March and April.

In the U.K., cider volumes declined 22 percent in the three months ended May 31, while volumes for beer brand Tennent dropped 12 percent. In the U.S., volume growth for Woodchuck, the cider brand acquired by the company last year, increased by a lower-than-expected 3 percent.

About 1.18 million shares traded in the stock, the equivalent of 80 percent of average daily traded volume over the past three months.

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To contact the editor responsible for this story: Finbarr Flynn at fflynn3@bloomberg.net

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