PBG makes "progress" with Russian juice firm

PBG makes "progress" with Russian juice firm

The Pepsi Bottling Group (PBG) said it continues to make progress with the Lebedyansky juice business in Russia, despite a decline in the category last year.

The Pepsi Bottling Group and PepsiCo acquired 75% of Lebedyansky for US$1.4bn in August 2007. Since then, the company has made a further bid to acquire the remaining 25% of the leading Russian juice firm.

Speaking at the PBG full-year earnings conference call yesterday (2 February), PBG CEO Eric Foss told analysts: “We grew our share position as we benefited from the strength and diversity of the Lebedyansky portfolio as well as benefited from the integration work we did in conjunction with PepsiCo."

He added: “We continue to remain optimistic about the long term growth potential of the Russia juice market, and Lebedyansky is well positioned to take advantage of opportunities as the category rebounds.”

PBG yesterday reported full-year profits ahead of guidance, despite a slip in sales.

Net profits for the 12 months to the end of December 2009 more than tripled to US$612m, Pepsi Bottling Group said today (2 February).

Reports this week suggested Lebedyansky has made a decision to liquidate its wholly owned subsidiary – Orisfey. The reports could not be immediately confirmed by just-drinks.