Coca-Cola Enterprises CEO John Brock said the company has “important growth opportunities” going forward

Coca-Cola Enterprises CEO John Brock said the company has “important growth opportunities” going forward

Coca-Cola Enterprises has used the CAGNY investment conference in Florida to reiterate its full-year earnings outlook and set out its growth plans for 2011.

Speaking at CAGNY on Friday (25 February), Coca-Cola Enterprises (CCE) chairman and CEO, John Brock, said that the company continues to anticipate 4-6% sales growth, 6-8% operating profits growth, and EPS growth in the high-single digits in 2011.

Brock added that the company only sees a 3% increase in its commodity costs, thanks to hedges, diversity of products purchased, and product mix.

"Going forward, we have a solid and strong balance sheet and significantly less debt, strong cash flow and a very strong focus on creating value for every stakeholder in the company," Brock said.

Turning to CCE's portfolio, Brock said the company has "important growth opportunities".

He said: "Each territory holds future growth opportunities, for portfolio expansion.... in Europe we have a proven record of success.

"We have been very successful in growing our business with a CAGR of 3% over the last three years. The strength of our markets is more than just volume. CCE has the size, scope and continuing of management to continue to be an effective competitor in what are attractively growing European markets."

Brock told investors that, while the company has achieved much success in expanding into non-carbonated drinks categories, its emphasis will remain "heavily weighted" towards carbonated drinks.

"Sparkling beverages continue to drive a significantly large portion of category value than most still drinks and waters," Brock said.

Nonetheless, Brock said the company will continue to grow its still drinks portfolio, but only when "meaningful opportunities" arise.

Initiatives heading into 2011 include the introduction of Fanta Beach in the UK in the second quarter, the continued development of the Vitaminwater brand, the expanding availability of contour bottles in France and the continuation of last year's expanded distribution of Capri Sun and Ocean Spray juices.