By Padraic Halpin
DUBLIN (Reuters) - Irish drinks group C&C (GCC.I) is in advanced talks with operators in mainland Europe to manufacture their products at its British plant after Britain leaves the European Union, its chief executive told Reuters on Thursday.
With manufacturing operations in the EU and Britain through plants in Ireland and Scotland, the maker of brands including Magners, Bulmers and Tennents has consistently said it is well positioned regardless of the way in which Britain leaves the bloc next year.
However, Chief Executive Stephen Glancey said Brexit is also throwing up opportunities for the group.
"You've got other manufacturers coming to us and saying 'can you manufacture for us in the UK'? ... The discussions are reasonably meaningful," Glancey told Reuters after C&C reported a 16 percent rise in first-half operating profit.
"We would be reasonably confident that we'll pick up some volumes over the next two or three years at Wellpark (plant) in Glasgow, partly because of Brexit and partly because of the decline of sterling."
Glancey said negotiations were with companies in parts of the EU other than Ireland.
C&C, which acquired the wholesale arm of collapsed British drinks company Conviviality earlier this year, said in its half-year results that it had plans in place to manage the various scenarios that may emerge from Brexit and does not expect material customer or financial disruption.
"If there is a hard Brexit, we would pre-manufacture in the (Irish) Republic, so we've got liquid stock that would see us through two years," Glancey said.
"We'd package that and get it over to the UK so that we can keep Magners flowing through Cheltenham (horse racing festival) and right through the summer, so there is no immediate risk there."
(Editing by David Goodman)