Coca-Cola Amatil has announced that its reported net profit before one-off items fell to A$201.3m in 2001, in line with its own forecast.

With the inclusion of A$246.5m in exceptional earnings from the sale of its Philippines operations to the Coca-Cola Co. and San Miguel, the company's profits for the year actually reached A$447.8m. The underlying profit figure was in fact only marginally down in comparison with last year's total of A$204m.

Excluding all contribution from the Philippines operations, net profit from continuing activities rose by 15.1% to A$171.1m in 2001, the company said.

Chief financial officer, Mike Ihlein said the company expected to be able to match analysts' forecasts for 2002. Amatil said that it expects annual earnings growth of 10% to 15% over the next three years, with earnings per share growth of 12% to 15% over the same period.

Coca-Cola Amatil is planning a significant programme of cost-cutting and divestment over the coming 12 months which will include the sale of A$50m of assets in South Korea.

Other areas under review include the introduction of better staff remuneration incentives and improvements in product development. Salaries are currently frozen until March 2003 and capital expenditure for 2003 and 2004 has been substantially reduced.

The company is 35%-owned by Coca-Cola Company and operates in Australia, New Zealand, South Korea, Papua New Guinea, Indonesia and Fiji. Australia is the company's largest regional centre, with beverage sales of A$1.68 billion in 2001, up some 7.5% on the previous year. Volumes in Australia were up by 4.5% to 275.1m unit cases (1 case = 5.678 litres).

However, it was the strong performance in South Korea which most pleased Amatil's management. Sales there rose by 8.3% to A$844.5m with volumes up by 5% to 139.9m cases.

Beverage sales in Indonesia rose by 17.2% to A$396.7m, while revenues from Amatil's Oceania division, which includes New Zealand, Papua New Guinea and Fiji, were 6.8% up at A$354.7m.