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EUROPE: Coca-Cola Enterprises promises "evolution, not revolution"

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The head of Coca-Cola Enterprises (CCE) has promised “evolution, not revolution” as it overhauls distribution and marketing in Europe.

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In a presentation at the Deutsche Bank Global Consumer Conference in Paris yesterday (19 June), CEO John Brock said that company changes already in place will increase margins “significantly”. But, Brock assured investors the US-based bottler will take its time.

“We will continue to evolve and change as time goes forward, whether its in supply chain or in sales and marketing,” Brock said. “But I think it's going to be evolutionary not revolutionary.”

In Norway, the company is in the middle of move away from a 100% direct store delivery to a warehousing system. Brock also said that both customers in the country and CCE will benefit from less reliance on returnable packaging.

“[Cans and plastic bottles are] highly preferred from a consumer standpoint because we can offer all kinds of terrific packages,” Brock said. “We'll make sure we have a recycling programme in place and frankly our margins significantly over time will increase big time.”

Norway is one of CCE's newest markets and was acquired - along with Sweden's operations - from the Coca-Cola Co in November 2010, when CCE offloaded its North American business. Sweden and Norway comprise 12% of CCE's total revenue, Brock said.

Brock also said bad weather in Europe over the past three months was behind CCE's revenue revision for the year.

“The weather in Europe has been pretty abysmal,” he said.

In 2011, CCE had revenues of US$8.3bn. It serves about 170m consumers each year, the company said, and has a workforce of about 13,000.


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