Coca-Cola HBC on track despite weather impacts

Swiss-based soft drink bottler Coca-Cola HBC has reported a 4.9 per cent fall in operating profit in the first half of 2019. The company cited unseasonably wet and cold weather conditions in the second quarter as being at least partially to blame for this.

Coca-Cola HBC’s net sales rose 3.8 per cent to E3.35 billion ($3.75bn) for the first six months. Meanwhile, restructuring in 2019 cost the bottler approximately E30 million and the purchase of Serbian confectionery business Bambi in June also impacted its business.

“We are pleased with this solid first half given the challenging combination of tough comparators and unseasonably cold and wet weather,” said Zoran Bogdanovic, chief executive of Coca‑Cola HBC. “We are driving growth in some of our most important categories including sparkling, water and energy and we are progressing with preparations to launch Costa Coffee in 10 of our markets in 2020.” 

Bogdanovic added that the company had made “good progress in the period on our packaging initiatives with three of our water brands now being bottled in 100 per cent recycled plastic. Looking forward, we expect to deliver FX-neutral revenue growth within the range of 5-6 per cent, with another year of margin expansion”.