Bottler Coca-Cola HBC Warns Of Hit To Consumer Spending
Soft drink bottler Coca Cola HBC AG's shares fell nearly 7% on Thursday as it warned that slowing economic growth across a range of both developing and developed markets was likely to hurt consumer spending.
The Swiss-based company, one of the largest bottlers of Coca-Cola Company brands, also flagged a likely doubling of the costs of its €800 million Eurobond in refinancing this year as well as a €50 million hit to core profit from foreign currency effects.
That outweighed rises in most of its key metrics for the full year and made it the top loser on London's bluechip index.
"Economic growth in 2019 is forecast to slow down in a number of our markets, which is likely to negatively impact consumer spending in the established and developing segments," the company said in a statement.
Comparable earnings before interest and tax rose to €680.7 million for the year ended 31 December from €621 million a year earlier. On a per share basis, the company earned €1.306.
Volumes rose 4.2%, while the company also saw some price increases.
Sales in the FTSE-100 company, which sells non-alcoholic drinks in 28 countries mostly in Europe, also rose 2.1% to €6.66 billion.
The Coca-Cola Company indirectly holds about 23% of Coca Cola HBC AG, according to the bottler's 2017 annual report.