Directors’ Report

The Directors present the Annual Report and audited Consolidated Financial Statements of the Group for the year ended 28 February 2021.

Principal Activities

The Group’s principal trading activity is the manufacturing, marketing and distribution of branded beer, cider, wine, spirits and soft drinks.

Non-Financial Reporting Statement

In compliance with the European Union (Disclosure of Non-Financial and Diversity Information by certain large undertakings and groups) Regulations 2017, the table below is designed to help stakeholders navigate to the relevant sections in this Annual Report to understand the Group’s approach to these non-financial matters:

Reporting Requirements

Our Policies

Section in Annual Report or Page References


Environmental matters

Environmental Sustainability

Responsibility Report

Although the risks associated with environmental matters are actively monitored, the Group does not believe these risks meet the threshold of a principal risk for our business.

Social and Employee matters

Diversity and Inclusion

Health and Safety

Speak Up

Conflicts of Interest

Responsibility Report

For employee matters, retention and recruitment of staff is one of our principal risks. Please refer to page 36 for more details.

Human Rights

Anti-Modern Slavery

Responsibility Report

Although the risks associated with human rights abuses are actively monitored, the Group does not believe these risks meet the threshold of a principal risk for our business.

Anti-bribery and Corruption

Code of Conduct



Responsibility Report

Although the risks associated with bribery and corruption are actively monitored, the Group does not believe these risks meet the threshold of a principal risk for our business.

Description of the business model

Please refer to pages 24 to 27

Non-Financial key performance indicators

Please refer to page 30


Due to the emergence of COVID-19 and the impact this has on global economies and on business generally, the Board concluded it was not appropriate, nor prudent, to pay an interim dividend or declare a final dividend for FY2021. For the previous financial year ending 29 February 2020, an interim dividend of 5.50 cent per share was paid on 13 December 2019. No final dividend was paid for FY2020 given the outbreak of COVID-19 and its impact.

Board of Directors

The names, functions and date of appointment of the current Directors are as follows:




Stewart Gilliland

Non-Executive Chair


Interim Executive Chair


Non-Executive Chair


Non-Executive Director


David Forde

Group Chief Executive Officer


Patrick McMahon

Group Chief Financial Officer


Andrea Pozzi

Chief Operating Officer


Vineet Bhalla

Independent Non-executive Director


Jill Caseberry

Independent Non-Executive Director


Jim Clerkin

Independent Non-Executive Director


Vincent Crowley

Independent Non-Executive Director


Emer Finnan

Independent Non-Executive Director


Helen Pitcher

Independent Non-Executive Director


Jim Thompson

Independent Non-Executive Director


* Stewart Gilliland was appointed as interim Executive Chair from 16 January 2020, following the retirement of Stephen Glancey, to 2 November 2020, when David Forde was appointed Group Chief Executive Officer.

Research and Development

Certain Group undertakings are engaged in ongoing research and development aimed at improving processes and expanding product ranges.

Listing Arrangements

In order to facilitate entry into the FTSE UK Index Series, the Group cancelled the listing and trading of C&C shares on Euronext Dublin with effect from 8 October 2019. The Group is listed on the premium segment of The London Stock Exchange and was included in the FTSE All-Share Index and the FTSE 250 indices in December 2019.

The Group remains domiciled and tax resident in Ireland, with its registered and corporate head office located in Dublin. The Group also retains a significant manufacturing, commercial and brand presence in Ireland.

Share Price

The price of the Company’s ordinary shares as quoted on the London Stock Exchange at the close of business on 26 February 2021 (being the last working day) was £2.58 (29 February 2020: £3.28). The price of the Company’s ordinary shares ranged between £1.45 and £3.36 during the year.

Further Information on the Group

The information required by section 327 of the Companies Act 2014 to be included in this report with respect to:

  1. The review of the development and performance of the business and future developments is set out in the CEO’s Review on pages 10 to 21 and the Strategic Report on pages 2 to 67.
  2. The principal risks and uncertainties which the Company and the Group faces are set out in the Strategic Report on pages 2 to 67 and which have been updated to reflect the risks posed by COVID-19.
  3. The key performance indicators relevant to the business of the Group, including environmental and employee matters, are set out in the Strategic Report on pages 30 to 31 and in the Group Chief Financial Officer’s Review on pages 43 to 49; and further information in respect of environmental and employee matters is set out in the Responsibility Report on pages 50 to 67.
  4. The financial risk management objectives and policies of the Company and the Group, including the exposure of the Company and the Group to financial risk, are set out in the Group Chief Financial Officer’s Review on pages 43 to 49 and note 24 to the financial statements.

The Group’s Viability Statement is contained in the Strategic Report on pages 41 to 42.

Corporate Governance

In accordance with Section 1373 of the Companies Act 2014, the corporate governance statement of the Company for the year, including the main features of the internal control and risk management systems of the Group, is contained in the Strategic Report and the Corporate Governance Report on pages 76 to 85.

Substantial Interests

As at 28 February 2021 and 14 May 2021, being the latest practicable date, details of interests over 3% in the ordinary share capital carrying voting rights which have been notified to the Company are:

No. of ordinary shares held as notified at 28 February 2021

% at 28 February 2021

No. of ordinary shares held as notified at 14 May 2021

% at 14 May 2021

Artemis Investment Management LLP










Silchester International Investors LLP





Investec Asset Management Limited





FIL Limited





BlackRock, Inc.





Brandes Investment Partners, L.P.





JNE Partners LLP





As far as the Company is aware, other than as stated in the table above, no other person or company had at 28 February 2021 or 14 May 2021, being the latest practicable date, an interest in 3% or more of the Company’s share capital carrying voting rights.

Issue of Shares and Purchase of Own Shares

At the Annual General Meeting held on 23 July 2020, the Directors received a general authority to allot shares. A limited authority was also granted to Directors to allot shares for cash otherwise than in accordance with statutory pre-emption rights. Resolutions will be proposed at the 2021 Annual General Meeting to allot shares to a nominal amount which is equal to approximately one-third of the issued ordinary share capital of the Company. In addition, resolutions will also be proposed to allow the Directors to allot shares for cash otherwise than in accordance with statutory pre-emption rights up to an aggregate nominal value which is equal to approximately 5% of the nominal value of the issued share capital of the Company and, in the event of a rights issue, and a further 5% of the nominal value of the issued share capital of the Company for the purposes of an acquisition or a specified capital investment. If granted, these authorities will expire at the conclusion of the Annual General Meeting in 2022 and the date 18 months after the passing of the resolution, whichever is earlier.

At the Annual General Meeting held on 23 July 2020 authority was granted to purchase up to 10% of the Company’s ordinary shares (the “Repurchase Authority”). As at the date of this Report, the Group had not purchased any ordinary shares pursuant to the Repurchase Authority from the start of the financial year.

Special resolutions will be proposed at the 2021 Annual General Meeting to renew the authority of the Company, or any of its subsidiaries, to purchase up to 10% of the Company’s ordinary shares in issue at the date of the Annual General Meeting and in relation to the maximum and minimum prices at which treasury shares (effectively shares purchased and not cancelled) may be re-issued off-market by the Company. If granted, the authorities will expire on the earlier of the date of the Annual General Meeting in 2022 and the date 18 months after the passing of the resolution. The minimum price which may be paid for shares purchased by the Company shall not be less than the nominal value of the shares and the maximum price will be 105% of the average market price of such shares over the preceding five days. The Directors will only exercise the power to purchase shares if they consider it to be in the best interests of the Company and its shareholders.

As at 14 May 2021, being the latest practicable date, options to subscribe for a total of 2,730,762 ordinary shares (excluding Recruitment and Retention Awards) are outstanding, representing 0.88.% of the Company’s total voting rights. If the authority to purchase ordinary shares were used in full, the options would represent 0.98% of the Company’s total voting rights.

Dilution Limits and Time Limits

All employee share plans contain the share dilution limits recommended in institutional guidance, namely that no awards shall be granted which would cause the number of Shares issued or issuable pursuant to awards granted in the ten years ending with the date of grant (a) under any discretionary or executive share scheme adopted by the Company to exceed 5%, and (b) under any employees’ share scheme adopted by the Company to exceed 10%, of the ordinary share capital of the Company in issue at that time.

The European Communities (Takeover Bids (Directive 2004/25/EC)) Regulations 2006

Structure of the Company’s share capital

At 14 May 2021, being the latest practicable date, the Company has an issued share capital of 320,626,375 ordinary shares of €0.01 each and an authorised share capital of 800,000,000 ordinary shares of €0.01 each.

At 28 February 2021, the trustee of the C&C Employee Trust held 1,766,325 ordinary shares of €0.01 each in the capital of the Company. Shares held by the trustee of the C&C Employee Trust are accounted for as if they were treasury shares. These shares are, however, included in the calculation of Total Voting Rights for the purposes of Regulation 20 of the Transparency (Directive 2004/109/EC) Regulations 2007 (“TVR Calculation”).

As at 28 February 2021, a subsidiary of the Group held 9,025,000 shares in the Company, which were acquired under the authority granted to the Company. These shares are not included in the TVR Calculation and are accounted for as treasury shares.

Details of employee share schemes, and the rights attaching to shares held in these schemes, can be found in note 4 (Share-Based Payments) to the financial statements and the Report of the Remuneration Committee on Directors’ Remuneration on pages 102 to 132.

The Company has no securities in issue conferring special rights with regard to control of the Company.

Details of persons with a significant holding of securities in the Company are set out on page 70.

Rights and obligations attaching to the Ordinary Shares

All ordinary shares rank pari passu, and the rights attaching to the ordinary shares (including as to voting and transfer) are as set out in the Company’s Articles of Association (“Articles”). A copy of the Articles may be obtained upon request to the Company Secretary.

Holders of ordinary shares are entitled to receive duly declared dividends in cash or, when offered, additional Ordinary Shares. In the event of any surplus arising on the occasion of the liquidation of the Company, shareholders would be entitled to a share in that surplus pro rata to their holdings of ordinary shares.

Holders of ordinary shares are entitled to receive notice of and to attend, speak and vote in person or by proxy, at general meetings having, on a show of hands, one vote, and, on a poll, one vote for each Ordinary Share held. Procedures and deadlines for entitlement to exercise, and exercise of, voting rights are specified in the notice convening the general meeting in question. There are no restrictions on voting rights except in the circumstances where a “Specified Event” (as defined in the Articles) shall have occurred and the Directors have served a restriction notice on the shareholder. Upon the service of such restriction notice, no holder of the shares specified in the notice shall, for so long as such notice shall remain in force, be entitled to attend or vote at any general meeting, either personally or by proxy.

Holding and transfer of Ordinary Shares

Following the migration in March 2021 of securities settlement in the securities of Irish registered companies listed on the London Stock Exchange (such as the Company) and/or Euronext Dublin from the current settlement system, CREST, to the replacement system, Euroclear Bank, the ordinary shares can be held in certificated form (that is, represented by a share certificate) or indirectly through the Euroclear System or through CREST in CDI (CREST Depository Interest) form.

Save as set out below, there is no requirement to obtain the approval of the Company, or of other shareholders, for a transfer of ordinary shares. The Directors may decline to register (a) any transfer of a partly-paid share to a person of whom they do not approve, (b) any transfer of a share to more than four joint holders, and (c) any transfer of a certificated share unless accompanied by the share certificate and such other evidence of title as may reasonably be required. The registration of transfers of shares may be suspended at such times and for such periods (not exceeding 30 days in each year) as the Directors may determine.

Transfer instruments for certificated shares are executed by or on behalf of the transferor and, in cases where the share is not fully paid, by or on behalf of the transferee.

The Articles contain provisions designed to facilitate the Company’s participation in the Euroclear Bank settlement system and to facilitate the exercise of rights in the Company by holders of interests in ordinary shares that are held through the Euroclear Bank system. The holding and transfer of ordinary shares through the Euroclear Bank system is additionally subject to the rules and procedures of Euroclear Bank and applicable Belgian law and (for interests in ordinary shares held in CDI form) those of CREST.

Rules concerning the appointment and replacement of the Directors and amendment of the Company’s Articles

Unless otherwise determined by ordinary resolution of the Company, the number of Directors shall not be less than two or more than 14. Subject to that limit, the shareholders in general meeting may appoint any person to be a Director either to fill a vacancy or as an additional Director. The Directors also have the power to co-opt additional persons as Directors, but any Director so co-opted is under the Articles required to be submitted to shareholders for re-election at the first Annual General Meeting following his or her co-option.

The Articles require that at each Annual General Meeting of the Company one-third of the Directors retire by rotation. However, in accordance with the recommendations of the UK Corporate Governance Code, the Directors have resolved they will all retire and submit themselves for re-election by the shareholders at the Annual General Meeting to be held this year.

The Company’s Articles may be amended by special resolution (75% majority of votes cast) passed at a general meeting.

Powers of Directors

Under its Articles, the business of the Company shall be managed by the Directors, who exercise all powers of the Company as are not, by the Companies Acts or the Articles, required to be exercised by the Company in general meeting.

The powers of Directors in relation to issuing or buying back by the Company of its shares are set out above under “Issue of Shares and Purchase of Own Shares”.

Change of control and related matters

Certain of the Group’s borrowing facilities include provisions that, in the event of a change of control of the Company, could oblige the Group to repay the facilities. Certain of the Company’s customer and supplier contracts and joint venture arrangements also contain provisions that would allow the counterparty to terminate the agreement in the event of a change of control of the Company. The Company’s Executive Share Option Scheme and Long-Term Incentive Plan each contain change of control provisions which allow for the acceleration of the exercise of share options/awards in the event of a change of control of the Company.

There are no agreements between the Company and its Directors or employees providing for compensation for loss of office or employment (whether through resignation, purported redundancy or otherwise) that occurs because of a takeover bid in excess of their normal contractual entitlement.

Shareholder Rights Directive II

On 20 March 2020, the provisions of the Shareholders’ Rights Directive II (SRD II) became law in Ireland with the publication of the European Union (Shareholders’ Rights) Regulations 2020 (SRD II Regulations). The SRD II Regulations apply with effect from 30 March 2020.

SRD II Regulations codify that Irish companies must seek shareholder approval of a remuneration report annually; and, an advisory remuneration policy once every four years. The Group is, in effect, already in compliance with this requirement having provided shareholders with the opportunity to opine on the Group’s remuneration report annually since 2010; and also in providing shareholders with an advisory vote on the Group’s Remuneration Policy. The 2021 Remuneration Policy (“policy”) will be put to our shareholders on an advisory basis at this year’s AGM. Details of the Policy are set out on pages 109 to 123.

Political Donations

No political donations were made by the Group during the year that require disclosure in accordance with the Electoral Acts, 1997 to 2002.

Accounting Records

The measures taken by the Directors to secure compliance with the requirements of Sections 281 to 285 of the Companies Act, 2014 with regard to the keeping of adequate accounting records are to employ accounting personnel with appropriate qualifications, experience and expertise and to provide adequate resources to the finance function. The books of account of the Company are maintained at the Group’s office in Bulmers House, Keeper Road, Crumlin, Dublin 12, D12 K702.


In accordance with Section 383(2) of the Companies Act, 2014, the auditor, Ernst & Young, Chartered Accountants, will continue in office. Ernst & Young were first appointed as the Company’s auditor during the financial year ending 28 February 2018 following a tender process. The Company is committed to mandatory tendering every ten years in line with best practice. Further details are set on page 90.

Disclosure of Information to the Auditor

In accordance with Section 330 of the Companies Act, 2014, the Directors confirm that, so far as they are each aware, there is no relevant audit information, being information needed by the auditor in connection with preparing their report, of which the Company’s auditor is unaware. Having made enquiries with fellow Directors and the Company’s auditor, each Director has taken all the steps that they ought to have taken as a Director to make themselves aware of any relevant audit information and to establish that the Company’s auditor is aware of that information.

Directors’ Compliance Statement (Made In Accordance With Section 225 of the Companies Act 2014)

The Directors acknowledge that they are responsible for securing compliance by the Company with its relevant obligations as are defined in the Companies Act, 2014 (the ‘Relevant Obligations’).

The Directors confirm that they have drawn up and adopted a compliance policy statement setting out the Company’s policies that, in the Directors’ opinion, are appropriate to the Company with respect to compliance by the Company with its relevant obligations.

The Directors further confirm the Company has put in place appropriate arrangements or structures that are, in the Directors’ opinion, designed to secure material compliance with its relevant obligations including reliance on the advice of persons employed by the Company and external legal and tax advisers as considered appropriate from time to time and that they have reviewed the effectiveness of these arrangements or structures during the financial year to which this report relates.

Financial Instruments

In the normal course of business, the Group has exposure to a variety of financial risks, including foreign currency risk, interest rate risk, liquidity risk, and credit risk. The Company’s financial risk objectives and policies are set out in Note 24 of the financial statements.

Post Balance Sheet Events

On 26 May 2021, the Group announced a rights issue. The rights issue is intended, alongside the other actions that the Group has already announced and implemented, to reduce leverage and improve the Group’s overall liquidity position thereby providing the Group with the capital structure to both support the business during further potential disruptions from COVID-19 and to deliver on its strategy as normalised trading conditions return.

As a direct consequence of the impact of COVID-19, the Group successfully negotiated waivers on its debt covenants from its lending group for FY2021, and these have been extended up to, but not including, the August 2022 test date whether or not the rights issue is successful. Conditional on a Minimum Equity Raise being achieved, the debt covenants for 31 August 2022 were also renegotiated to increase the threshold of the Group’s Net Debt/Adjusted EBITDA covenant to not exceed 4.5x and to reduce the Interest cover covenant to be not less than 2.5x. As part of the agreement reached to waive the debt covenants, a minimum liquidity requirement and a gross debt restriction have been put in place, both in the scenario of a Minimum Equity Raise being achieved or a Minimum Equity Raise not being achieved. Please refer to Note 20 for further details. 

Post year end the Group announced that the outcome of a cost reduction programme it had undertaken would deliver annualised savings of €18m against its pre COVID-19 cost base.

On 2 April 2021, the Group completed the sale of its wholly owned US subsidiary, Vermont Hard Cider Company (“VHCC”) to Northeast Kingdom Drinks Group, LLC for a total consideration of USD 20 million. VHCC was classified as a disposal group, held for sale, as at 28 February 2021.

In April 2021, the Group's wholly owned subsidiary, Matthew Clark Bibendum Limited ("MCB"), were the subject of a cybersecurity incident, which impacted both Matthew Clark and Bibendum. MCB responded quickly, enacting its cybersecurity response plan, and taking steps to protect its IT systems. Additionally, C&C engaged a leading forensic information technology firm and legal counsel to assist the Group in investigating the incident and restoring the IT systems as quickly and as safely as possible. As part of the cybersecurity response plan, the Group contacted all stakeholders on the actions the Group had taken and notified the relevant authorities, including the Information Commissioner’s Office. This incident did not affect the IT systems of the wider C&C Group, which continued to operate as normal. The recent incident affecting Matthew Clark and Bibendum IT systems has emphasised the need for continued focus on information security. The Group has commenced a detailed review of its information security and cyber preparedness policies and processes.

There were no other events affecting the Group that have occurred since the year end which would require disclosure or amendment of the consolidated financial statements.

Annual General Meeting

Your attention is drawn to the letter to shareholders and the notice of meeting accompanying this report which set out details of the matters which will be considered at the Annual General Meeting. In particular, please ensure to read additional disclosures relating to restrictions at the Annual General Meeting due to government and health authority guidance on COVID-19 social distancing.

Other Information

Other information relevant to the Director’s Report may be found in the following sections of the Annual Report:


Location in the Annual Report


Financial Statements – pages 144 to 235.

Principal risks & uncertainties including risks associated with recent emergence of COVID-19

Principal Risks & Uncertainties – pages 32 to 42.

Directors’ remuneration, including the interests of the directors and secretary in the share capital of the Company

Directors’ Remuneration Report – pages 102 to 132.

Long-Term Incentive Plan, share options and equity settled incentive schemes

Directors’ Remuneration Report – pages 102 to 132.

Significant subsidiary undertakings

Financial Statements – Note 29.

Director biographies and Board composition

Directors and Officers – pages 74 to 75.

Audit Committee Report

Pages 86 to 91.

The Directors’ Report for the year ended 28 February 2021 comprises these pages and the sections of the Annual Report referred to under ‘Other information’ above, which are incorporated into the Directors’ Report by reference.


On behalf of the Board

David Forde

Patrick McMahon

Group Chief Executive Officer

Group Chief Financial Officer

26 May 2021