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 adjustments relate and “acknowledges that the relevant shortcomings occurred at a time when he had overall responsibility for the group’s finance function”. He stepped down with immediate effect.

The episode was 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.

It means C&C is set to begin searching for a new chief executive for the second time in around a year.

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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 and former chief executive of Marston’s, 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 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.”

Dublin-based C&C, which also makes Magners Irish cider, said this 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 and that there will “clearly also be an impact” on its results for the 2024 financial year, which it will set out when it publishes its interim results for 2025 in October.

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” and appointed an independent accounting firm to investigate.

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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 an unaudited summary of its financial performance for the year ended February 29, 2024, which showed that group revenues are expected to be “broadly in line” with last year, down 2% to €1.65 billion, despite the one-off disruption from upgrading its wine wholesaling ordering software.

“Set against a difficult market backdrop, we are pleased with the performance of our brands in FY2024 with Tennent's and Bulmers continuing to gain share in Scotland and the Republic of Ireland respectively,” C&C said.

However, volumes of Magners declined by 18% in the UK, leading the firm to book a goodwill impairment of €125m associated with its C&C Brands business. The company said it expects to report a pre-tax loss of €111m, after an exceptional charge of €150m, following a profit of £52m the year before.

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C&C said: “As previously communicated the implementation of a complex ERP (enterprise resource planning) system upgrade in our Matthew Clark and Bibendum business had a material impact on the performance of the GB distribution business and, as a consequence, the Group in FY2024.

“However, we are pleased that we were able to restore service levels back to pre-ERP implementation levels and it is our belief that our service levels were industry leading over the key Christmas trading period.”

Shares closed down 7.6% or 12.8p at 156.4p.