BOSSES at C&C Group could be forgiven for pining for simpler times today.

The company faces the discomfort of digesting a €25 million hit following complications arising from implementing a complex upgrade to software systems in its wine wholesaling business.

The task has proven to be “significantly more challenging and disruptive than originally envisaged”, with the company admitting that it had a “consequent material impact on service and profitability within MCB (Matthew Clark and Bibendum)”.

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C&C is currently investing in “material additional cost and resources” this month before a permanent solution is found and normal service is resumed.

The thousands of bars, restaurants and hotels across the UK which depend on Matthew Clark and Bibendum for supplies of wine and spirits are unlikely to have been too happy as service levels deteriorated amid the software chaos in April, especially those looking to stock up for key events such as Easter and the two bank holidays in May, one of which featured the King’s coronation.

And judging by the share price reaction today, investors in the company were unimpressed, sending shares in the stock crashing by 17% in morning trading.

The reverse perhaps indicates that investors are not convinced by how the drinks company is handling the episode and, moreover, or whether a change of chief executive will make much of a difference.

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C&C announced today that chief executive David Forde had told the board he wished to step down and has ceased to be a director with immediate effect, “having navigated C&C through the challenges of the Covid-19 pandemic”.

Chief financial officer Patrick McMahon has stepped up to fill Mr Forde’s shoes and will be assisted by chairman and pub industry veteran Ralph Findlay, who has been appointed executive chairman to “support the management transition” while Mr McMahon temporarily holds the CEO and CFO jobs.

The company did not say Mr Forde had paid for the software meltdown with his job, but it was certainly hard to avoid that conclusion.