Coca-Cola HBC reports marginal sales growth in first half amid continued currency depreciation in Emerging markets

Coca-Cola Hellenic Bottling Company (“Coca-Cola HBC AG”), the parent company of the Nigerian Bottling Company (NBC) reported a 0.5% revenue growth for the first half of 2018 through June ending. Sales grew to €3.2bn, driven by a 4.6% volume lift across all markets, with the biggest gains coming from developing markets which grew 8.9%, followed by emerging markets at 5.1% and established markets at 0.9%.

The company which operates in 28 countries in Europe and Nigeria said that growth accelerated in the second quarter bolstered by new product launches, good weather and the FIFA World Cup.

Commenting on the results, the Chief Executive Officer of Coca-Cola HBC, Zoran Bogdanovic, said: “The evolution of our portfolio is gathering pace and gaining traction with customers across our markets. We have delivered a strong set of results as product launches and tailored commercial activation enabled us to capitalize on favourable market conditions and the FIFA World Cup.

“Revenue growth was excellent driven by both volume and price/mix improvements across all three of our geographic segments. Margins continue to improve as we keep our focus on driving top-line growth and cost control”.

The company said that growth was slowed down by resumption of currency depreciation in emerging markets, losing €23m in the period, driven by the Russian Rouble, the Nigerian naira and the Swiss Franc.

In Nigeria, volume growth declined by 0.7% in the first half, with strong volume growth in the second quarter largely offsetting the decline in the first quarter. Sparkling volumes were stable, benefiting from better availability of certain popular PET packages and strong volume growth from Coke Zero and affordable brand Limca. Water volume fell by low single digits, as the mid-single digit growth in the second quarter was not enough to offset declines at the start of the year. The company recorded double-digit growth in Energy drinks.

Total net profit for the half year grew 13.2% to €216.9m.

Looking forward to the rest of the year, the company said it expects volume and price/mix growth, as well as slightly more favourable input cost movements. Altogether, it expects to make progress in both revenue and margin growth for the balance of the year.

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