• Net profits rise by 19% to AUD591.8m (US$630.8m)
  • Net sales up by 7% to AUD4.8bn
  • Operating profits (EBIT) up by 2.8% to AUD868.9m
  • Net profits rise by 5% excluding AUD59.8m gain on SABMiller deal

Coca-Cola Amatil (CCA) has reported an increase in full-year net profits, boosted by a one-time gain from exiting its beer joint-venture with SABMilller.
Net profits for the 12 months to the end of December amounted to AUD591.8m (US$630.8m), a 19% improvement on 2010. The figure included a AUD59.8m one-off, reflecting the sale of the firm's 50% stake in Pacific Beverages to SABMiller, minus restructuring costs at SPC Artmona.
Excluding one-off items, net profits rose by 5% to $532m. Operating profits (EBIT) in the period were up by 2.8% to AUD868.9m. Cooler weather curbed demand before Christmas, but net sales still increased by 7% to reach AUD4.8bn.
CCA's managing director, Terry Davis, described the group's underlying profits result as "solid" given a challenging trading environment marked by natural disasters, low consumer confidence, the high Australian dollar and a cool summer.
As part of the Pacific Beverages sale, CCA has undertaken not to compete in the Australian beer market until the end of 2013. However the deal included an option to acquire Foster's Australian spirits, pre-mixed drinks, and soft drinks divisions, as well as its Fijian brewing and soft drinks divisions.
“While in the short term we may not be able to compete in beer in Australia, we are not restricted in other markets and we would expect to be back in the beer business in Australia in early 2014,” said CCA's managing director, Terry Davis.
The company is currently conducting due diligence on Foster's assets over which it has option rights, with an expectation of completing a deal by mid-2012 at a price of up to $200m if it decides to proceed.
In its outlook, CCA said that it sees strong growth potential in Indonesia, where economic conditions remain buoyant. In Australia, the firm said that it still expects to grow sales in 2012, despite relatively weak consumer demand.

For the company announcement, click here.