The chief executive of C&C Group, owner of Tennent’s Lager, has quit after the company was forced to make retrospective charges totalling €17 million to accounts for its previous financial year, sending shares down by nearly 8%.

Patrick McMahon was chief financial officer of C&C during the periods to which the adjustments relate and “acknowledges that the relevant shortcomings occurred at a time when he had overall responsibility for the group’s finance function”. He has stepped down with immediate effect.

C&C said: “The board, with regret, has agreed that it would be in the best interests of the group for Patrick to do so. It has been agreed that he will remain as an employee until the end of September to facilitate a smooth transition. The group thanks Patrick for his contribution and service over many years.”

The episode may be seen as a further blow to the company’s reputation, after a costly botched IT upgrade to its wine wholesaling ordering business last year led to the exit of previous chief executive David Forde.

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Mr McMahon has been replaced on an interim basis by chairman Ralph Findlay to “ensure continuity of executive leadership”. Mr Findlay, a Scot, is expected to remain in post as chief executive for 12 to 18 months, subject to the appointment of a long-term successor to Mr McMahon. The recruitment process will begin in the autumn.

C&C, which makes Magners Irish cider, said this morning that the various adjustments to its accounts for its prior year include a €12m charge relating to onerous apple contracts. The charge was initially expected to be recorded in its 2024 financial year, which ended on February 29.

C&C said the total value of adjustments, underlying plus exceptional, is €17m.

The adjustments were made after the company carried out “detailed internal and external reviews of inventory and balance sheet reconciliations after discrepancies were notified to the audit committee earlier this year”.

“An independent accounting firm was appointed to investigate the relevant issues and to determine any potential financial impact and the time period over which the issues extended,” C&C said in a statement.

The company noted: “In addition to accounting mistakes and errors of judgement underlying these historic issues, it is clear from the reviews undertaken that there were failures in the group's reporting framework and that in parts of the organisation behaviours fell short of the levels of transparency demanded and required such that opportunities were missed to identify and appropriately address the relevant issues.”

C&C released this morning an unaudited summary of its financial performance for the year ended February 29, 2024, for which it expects to report a pre-tax loss of €111m, after an exceptional charge of €150m. This includes a goodwill impairment of €125m associated with its C&C Brands business.

Group revenues are expected to be down 2% at €1.65 billion.