Bottler Coca-Cola HBC Sticks To Annual Forecast

By Donna Ahern
Bottler Coca-Cola HBC Sticks To Annual Forecast

Coca-Cola HBC maintained its annual profit and sales forecasts on Tuesday as strong demand for the bottler's energy and coffee drinks offsets the impact of foreign exchange losses in key markets Nigeria and Egypt.

The company said it expects foreign exchange losses of €50 million - €60 million $52.99 million-$63.59 million) to weigh on full-year comparable operating profit.

In Nigeria, the company had done some currency hedging to protect against the impact of the naira's devaluation for the near term, chief finance officer Ben Almanzar told Reuters in an interview.

The Switzerland-based company, which is more than 20% owned by US beverage giant Coca-Cola, posted a 3.8% rise in reported revenue for the three months ended 29 September.

Resilient Demand 


Demand for packaged beverage and food has stayed resilient, even though companies have hiked prices to pass on elevated energy and input costs to consumers.

HBC's organic net revenue growth per case in the third quarter slowed to 12.9%, from 19% in the first half, as lower cost inflation reduced the need to raise prices.

While pricing has largely contributed to the company's revenue per case over the year, the company expects a balance of price mix and more volumes to help generate growth going forward, CEO Zoran Bogdanovic said.

HBC, which lifted its annual revenue forecast in August as it benefited from price increases, said sparkling, energy and coffee drinks were facing less pressure from private label competition than other non-alcoholic ready-to-drink categories.

Shares Fall


Shares in the company, which operates in Europe, parts of Africa and Ukraine, were marginally down 0.14% in morning trade.

Last week, Coca-Cola raised its annual sales and profit forecasts for a second time this year, riding on resilient demand from consumers for its sodas, juices and energy drinks as well as higher prices.

Read More: Bottler Coca-Cola HBC Lifts Sales Outlook

News by Reuters edited by Donna Ahern, Checkout. For more drinks stories click here. Click subscribe to sign up for the Checkout print edition.

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