Shares in C&C Group were up in morning trading after the owner of Magners cider reported a rise in net revenue of 73 per cent in the half year ended 31 August.

The group said that total Magners volumes were up 1.6 per cent year on year. In Britain the group reported a return to Magners volume growth for the first time since 2007, however in Northern Ireland Magners volumes fell 20.6 per cent.

Volumes of Magners exported from Ireland represented 12 per cent of total volumes, thanks to a growth in export volumes of 34.4 per cent.

In Ireland volumes of Bulmers fell 3.4 per cent year on year due to the poor state of the Irish economy.

In the half year period gross revenue was reported as rising 106.7 per cent to 451.6 million euros, while net revenue increased 73 per cent to 305.5 million euros.

C&C Group said it would be proposing a rise of 10 per cent to its interim dividend to 3.3 euro cents per share. The group added that EBIT guidance for 2010/11 was in line with market consensus at 102-106 million euros.

During the period C&C sold its Spirits & Liqueurs business to William Grant & Sons Holdings Ltd for 300 million euros.

John Dunsmore, CEO of C&C Group, said, "Economic conditions in the Group's core markets of Ireland and the UK remain unpredictable and challenging. Consequently, we are appropriately cautious in our outlook.

"Despite the challenges, we are pleased to report the continued growth of the cider category in the UK and the return to modest volume growth for the Magner's brand for the first time since 2007. We are also pleased to confirm the successful integration of the Tennent's and Gaymer's businesses and a good first half performance from both acquisitions. Our newly strengthened position in the long alcohol drinks sector leaves us well placed to continue with the Magner's recovery.

"The Group's premium brands are in good health and it is re?assuring to see the development of Magners internationally begin to provide some protection against the current market challenges of Ireland.

"We remain confident of delivering to market consensus for operating profit in the range of €102 €106m for 2010/11. Our strong underlying free cash flow and balance sheet will ensure the Group can continue to invest for growth, despite the difficult trading environment in our core markets."

By 11:25 shares in C&C Group were up 1.21 per cent.