Coca-Cola HBC says profits up 27.7 pct in 2017

Coca-Cola HBC AG on Wednesday reported a 27.7 pct increase in its 2017 profits in 2017, with comparable net profits totaling 449.7 million euros from 352.1 million in 2016.

In an announcement, the company attributed this development to a good balance of volume and price/mix growth which drove net sales revenue up 5.9 pct on an FX-neutral basis; reported net sales revenue increased by 4.9 pct and FX-neutral revenue per case improved in all segments, was up 3.6 pct overall.

Acceleration compared to 2016 was driven by price increases taken in the emerging segment and better package and category mix across the business.

Volume increased by 2.2 pct, with growth in all segment and good momentum in emerging and developing segment countries except for Nigeria and Russia, which delivered marginally lower volumes in challenging environments. Coca-Cola HBC reported growth in both sparkling and still drinks.

Comparable EBIT rose 20.0 pct to 621.0 million euros, comparable EBIT margin was up 120 basis points to 9.5 pct, leading margin up 90 basis points to 9.0% pct. Free cash flow was 425.9 million euros in 2017, while higher operating cash flow was offset by a 46 million euros increase in investments in revenue-generating assets as planned.

The board of directors proposed a 0.54 euro dividend per share, a 23 pct increase on the 2016 dividend.

Zoran Bogdanovc, CEO, said 2017 was an exceptional year for the company which made significant progress towards achieving its goals in 2020. “We are convinced that 2018 will be another successful year,” he noted.