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TOP NEWS: Coca Cola HBC sees quarterly growth despite Russia fall-off

31st Oct 2023 09:34

(Alliance News) - Coca-Cola HBC AG on Tuesday maintained its full year revenue guidance after reporting a robust performance in its third quarter.

The Steinhausen, Switzerland-based soft-drink bottling partner of beverage giant Coca-Cola Co said in the three months to September 30, organic revenue grew 15% while year-to-date organic revenue was up 17%.

This was boosted by a 2.2% increase in organic volume, which Coca Cola HBC said was led by its strategic priority catergories, including a 1.5% rise in its Sparkling division, growth of 25% in Energy and a 34% uplift in Coffee. Organic revenue per case rose 13%, which Coca Cola HBC said reflected the "cumulative advantages of revenue growth management initiatives across all categories and segments."

Reported revenue was also on the right track, with growth of 3.8%, offset by foreign exchange "headwinds in emerging markets".

Coca Cola HBC added that it saw "broad-based" organic revenue growth, citing a particularly strong performance in emerging markets, with organic revenue up by 22% due to volume growth, primarily in Egypt.

Organic revenue rose 16% in developing markets due to "strong volume performance" in Energy and Coffee, offsetting weaker volumes in Sparkling, Water and Juices, Coca Cola HBC noted.

As for established markets, organic revenue increased 7.7%, which was "led by revenue-per-case expansion".

The bottling firm reported a "low-single digits" decline in volume in Ukraine after having reported a 50% increase in August during its half-year results.

In Russia, volumes were "higher on an organic basis" compared to the corresponding quarter a year ago, but still down 40% from 2021.

Coca Cola Co and its bottling partner had pulled operations in Russia last year following its invasion of Ukraine, which has resulted in reduced volumes across the region.

Looking ahead, the company said it expects organic earnings before interest and tax of between nine and 12% in 2023, and upped its medium-term targets to average annual organic revenue growth of 6% to 7% per year from a previously stated target of 5% to 6%. As for full-year organic revenue, Coca Cola HBC continues to expects mid-teen growth.

Chief Executive Officer Zoran Bogdanovic said: "We're pleased to have delivered another solid performance, and a second consecutive quarter of organic volume growth...Our sophisticated revenue growth management, powered by data, insights and analytics, is helping us to adapt our initiatives and execution to different consumer environments and successfully balance affordability and premiumisation."

Bogdanovic added: "We continue to invest in our future with a clear focus on delivering against our sustainability agenda. In Austria, we have introduced an industry-leading alternative to plastic shrink film for multipacks of multi-serve bottles, and in Romania, we have invested in recycled PET capabilities to drive packaging circularity.

"We reiterate our guidance for strong growth in 2023 and, despite continued macro uncertainties, we are well placed to deliver on our medium-term targets."

Shares in Coca Cola were down 0.4% at 2,134.00 pence each in London on Tuesday morning.

By Sabrina Penty, Alliance News reporter

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