US: Restructuring hits CCE earnings
Coca-Cola Enterprises today (27 April) reported a 20% slump in operating profit for the first quarter of 2006 as restructuring charges weighed on earnings.
The world's largest Coke bottler posted operating profit of US$176m, down from US$220m a year earlier. Revenues were up 3% to US$4.3bn as global volumes inched up 1%.
"Our first-quarter performance strengthens our confidence in our strategic direction in both Europe and North America," said Lowry F. Kline, chairman of the board. "We believe the strong operating plans we have in place, combined with the benefits of our ongoing expense initiatives and moderate cost increases, will enable us to reach our financial targets."
Volumes in North America inched up 1%, buoyed by new products including Vault, Vault Zero and Black Cherry Vanilla Coca-Cola.
CCE saw volumes also grow in Europe by 1% with a 4% rise in volumes in continental Europe boosting the results. CCE said a weak carbonated soft drinks market in the UK weighed on the results and added: "A total volume decline of 3% reflects continuing difficult category trends. Initiatives to improve these trends will include the introduction of Coca-Cola Zero in the UK later this year, which is expected to further accelerate diet soft drink growth."
However, Kline added: "We recognise there are challenges in the months ahead, particularly in the UK. As a result, we anticipate moderate volatility in our quarterly performance in Europe for the balance of the year."
The head of InBev's UK operations is to leave his position after just nine months in the role....
Coca-Cola Enterprises (CCE) has named former InBev boss John Brock as its new president and CEO....
InBev CEO Carlos Brito has said that the company is focusing on boosting sales in Western Europe after a year of declining volumes....
PepsiCo has agreed to end its practice of using labels containing lead-based ink on soft drink bottles sold in Mexico....
Coca-Cola Co. has signed an exclusive deal to provide branded refreshments for US Airways flights....
InBev has refused to comment on reports that it is considering a bid for a stake in Beijing Yanjing Brewery....
Coca-Cola Co. is pressing governments in Eastern Africa to cut excise duty and encourage growth in the soft drinks industry throughout the region....
The share ratings of Diageo, Heineken and Pernod Ricard were all upgraded today (20 April) by German broker Dresdner Kleinwort Wasserstein (DKW)....
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