Coca-Cola European Partners (CCEP) posted a 21% increase in revenue in 2017 to €11.06 billion, despite falling volumes for Coca-Cola branded products.
Operating profit for Coke’s largest bottler was up by 48% to €1.26 billion, in a year the company said it started to fully realise the opportunities presented by its creation in 2015.
On a territory basis, CCEP’s GB business struggled, with revenue down 2.5%, which was said to be as a result of the decline of the value of the British pound versus the euro.
In France, revenues were up 0.5%, while German sales rose 2.5%. Revenues in its northern territories unit (Belgium, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Norway, Sweden, and Iceland) were up 4.5%.
On a brand basis for 2017, volume for sparkling brands was up 0.5%. Coca-Cola trademark brands decreased 0.5%, with growth of approximately 15% in Coca-Cola Zero Sugar – which saw a revamped version launched in Europe early last year – said to offset declines in other trademark brands.
Sparkling flavours and energy grew 4% with favourable performances of its Fanta, Vio, and Royal Bliss brands. Still brands volumes increased 1%, and water brands were down 1%.
CCEP CEO Damian Gammell said: “In our first full year as Coca-Cola European Partners, we have started to realise the growth opportunities created by the merger and, importantly, modestly exceeded our initial guidance for revenue, operating profit, diluted earnings per share, and free cash flow.
“Looking ahead, our journey continues in 2018 as we further expand our portfolio, build on our commercial capabilities, and continue to invest in our business to better serve our customers and improve in-market execution.
“Though we face some headwinds in 2018, we remain confident that our focus on driving profitable growth and managing costs will strengthen our business for the long term.
“Today’s dividend announcement, an increase of over 20%, reflects our confidence in the future of our business and our goal of generating cash and driving increased shareholder value.”
Despite the announcement earlier this year that it will close two UK facilities, CCEP said it expects revenue growth for 2018 “in a low single-digit range”.
Last year, CCEP revealed a £39 million investment to triple the storage capacity at its Greater London facility. The company said the funding will allow all manufactured products to be delivered to customers directly, saving around 10,800 road miles by HGV trucks.
© FoodBev Media Ltd 2018