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Revolution Bars and Magners cider maker in cash calls to shore up Covid-hit balance sheets

·2-min read
<p>Revolution has reopened its sites for indoor trading around the country</p> (PA)

Revolution has reopened its sites for indoor trading around the country

(PA)

Bar chain Revolution and Magners cider maker C&C have tapped shareholders for funding, in an attempt to shore up Covid-hit balance sheets.

C&C- which also makes Bulmers and Tennent's lager - announced a £151 million rights issue as it reported a €59.6 million (£51.5 million) operating loss for the year to March. Revenues were down 56% on the prior year to €736.9 million (£637.4 million).

The Dublin-based group, which made 80% of revenues from hospitality sales pre-Covid, said cash raised "will be used to reduce the group's leverage and provide sufficient liquidity to manage near term trading uncertainty" - as well as to improve its distribution system.

Chief executive, David Forde, said the year had "presented an extraordinary set of circumstances which have challenged our business, and our industry, at every level" and said bosses "will continue to optimise our system strength through cost streamlining and infrastructure consolidation".

Forde said the rights issue "will strengthen the balance sheet and ensure C&C is in a stronger position to achieve sustained growth and pursue its strategy as the hospitality sector emerges from the pandemic".

It came as Revolution, which runs over 60 bars nationwide and has shut six sites since the pandemic hit, said it has raised £21 million via a share placing, subject to approvals.

Chief executive, Rob Pitcher, said trade had been "outstanding" since reopening on May 17, and said: "Thanks to the support of our shareholders and new investors, this successful fundraising will allow Revolution Bars to emerge from this period of disruption in a strong position with a fit for purpose balance sheet which provides us with ongoing financial flexibility."

Pitcher said the cash will deliver "firepower" and allow the company to "take advantage of opportunities that undoubtedly will arise from a very dislocated market".

Shares in C&C were down 14.6%, while shares in Revolution were down 30%, on Wednesday morning on the updates.

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