Bloomberg News

C&C CEO Dunsmore Exits, New Chief Says No Change in Strategy

October 19, 2011

(Updates with closing share price.)

Oct. 19 (Bloomberg) -- C&C Group Plc Chief Executive Officer John Dunsmore is stepping down as head of the maker of Magners cider after restructuring the company’s Irish business and boosting international sales in his three-year tenure.

Dunsmore will step down in December but remain on the board until the end of the February, he said on a call with reporters today. Stephen Glancey, who joined C&C after working with Dunsmore at U.K. brewer Scottish & Newcastle Plc, will become the Dublin-based company’s new CEO.

C&C won’t change its strategy and becoming a takeover target has never been on the agenda, Glancey said. C&C said separately it remains confident of meeting its previously stated full-year operating profit guidance of 108 million euros ($149 million) to 115 million euros.

“There is no change in strategy at all,” Glancey said on the call. “You couldn’t put a cigarette paper between John and I in the last 12 years.”

C&C fell 4.3 percent to close at 2.72 euros in Dublin trading. The stock has retreated 20 percent this year.

“This will unsettle investors this morning,” Bloxham Stockbrokers said in a note. “The departing CEO has emphasised his support for the company and the numbers speak for themselves.”

C&C reported a “robust financial performance” even after a tough second quarter both in the U.K. and Ireland where poor weather added to low consumer confidence, Dunsmore said. Operating profit in the six months ended Aug. 31 from continuing businesses before one-time items rose 7.8 percent to 67.4 million euros.

‘Deliver the Goods’

“We believe we achieved a lot in terms of turning the business around,” Dunsmore said on the call. “I remain as a significant shareholder so I’ll be giving them grief if they don’t deliver the goods and I am sure they will.”

Kenny Neison, who also joined C&C with Dunsmore in 2008, will replace Glancey as finance director. The company is looking for new heads of its U.K. and international cider businesses.

C&C proposed increasing its interim dividend 11 percent to 3.67 cents per share.

“You only need so many people to change a light bulb, it’s not the biggest company in the world,” Dunsmore said. “I am just very happy to hand over to Stephen.”

--Editors: Peter Branton, James Kraus

To contact the reporter on this story: Finbarr Flynn in Dublin at fflynn3@bloomberg.net;

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Colin Keatinge at ckeatinge@bloomberg.net


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