Nigeria remains a strong market for Coca-Cola as robust sales offset woes in Russia

Coca-Cola HBC AG, the second-largest bottler of Coca-Cola products said that strong sales in Nigeria, Romania and Ukraine were more than making up for its struggles in Russia, the company’s biggest market, reports Bloomberg.

On Nigeria, “Obviously oil at $50 [a barrel] is not great news for them, but we have been focusing on the things we control,” said Dimitris Lois, the chief executive, who highlighted the company’s successful ‘Share a Coke’ marketing campaign in the country.

Coca-Cola HBC’s share price has closely tracked the ruble since the start of the year, a phenomenon that’s also affected Carlsberg A/S, Russia’s largest brewer. “Russia counts for about 80 to 90 percent of our FX negative impact,” Chief Financial Officer Michalis Imellos said on a conference call.

The coke bottler’s shares rose more than 10 percent in London after Chief Executive Officer Dimitris Lois said in the statement he’s become “more optimistic as the year has progressed” about volume and margin growth. This is despite “difficult conditions in many of our markets, particularly Russia.”

The bottler buys concentrate from Atlanta-based Coca-Cola Co. and sells the products in Europe, Russia and Nigeria. It is listed in London and Athens and has a market value of 7.5 billion euros.

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