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Tennent’s NI looks back at the future

2012 has been an extremely challenging year for the NI Licensed trade with the Industry being forced to cope with intensely difficult trading issues which are inevitable within a deflated economy.

At Tennent’s NI we have a good understanding of the difficulties our customers are faced with and have ourselves been undertaking prudent housekeeping and thoroughly reviewing our operations.  However, we are also fully aware of the need to continue to invest in a challenging market place. That, matched with a proactive approach and the confidence that comes from having a world class portfolio of brands, is what will help keep us moving forward.

In 2012 we invested more than £3m in support for our brands, including our major music event, Tennent’s Vital, which returned to Belfast, headlined by the incredible Foo Fighters and The Stone Roses. We also reinforced Magners comedy credentials with the launch of a six month campaign, Magners Comedy Core, which included a three night comedy festival at Queen’s.  These commitments are high profile affirmations of the confidence we have in our brands and illustrate our determination to support their leading positions, resolutely keeping Tennent’s and Magners front of mind.  This coming year will see us build still further on these successes.

Investment in our customers is also central to our ongoing success, as evidenced by the introduction of our Customer Service Training Programme in association with WorldHost. Already we have supported sixty participants through this programme, new to Northern Ireland and supported by DEL.  We have been so excited and impressed with the results that we have already planned to expand our commitment to the scheme in 2013.

The evolution of our portfolio is also an imperative and 2012 saw us launch several new products, notably Caledonia Smooth. This is a brand that is already outperforming our launch expectations, demonstrating what can be achieved in a relatively short time when you apply a focused push/pull strategy.  We also launched a new member of the Magners family, Magners Berry, which is capitalising on the growing flavoured cider segment.

As a smaller business with three production sites across the United Kingdom and Ireland we are able to be proactive in bringing new brands and packs to market quickly.  That’s a real positive for us, allowing us to provide our customer with the freshness, vitality and variety which the market demands.

During the year we also significantly increased our lending to the trade and proactively sought to support our business partners to expand or re-position and further develop their consumer offerings.  We drive relentlessly to achieve new distribution in the on trade, offering flexible financial packages and a world class portfolio, backed up with a committed partnership approach to building business … yours as well as ours!

Faced with a continuing weak economic backdrop, there are no easy wins for any of us, but a blend of hard work, expertise and innovation will help to turn the tide.  These times are undoubtedly difficult for many, but they also offer opportunities for those who dare and are determined to see it through with continued investment.

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