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SWITZERLAND: Coca-Cola HBC hits Q1 bump as volumes slip

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  • Q1 net losses widen 61% to EUR39.3m (US$54m)
  • Net sales down 7% to EUR1.33bn
  • Operating losses widen 150% to EUR29.2m
  • Volumes down 4%

Coca-Cola HBC has blamed a late Easter for a drop in first-quarter sales and profits.

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Net losses widened by 61% to EUR39.3m (US$54m) in the three months to 28 March, the Swiss-based bottler said today (16 May). Net sales were down 7% to EUR1.33bn while operating losses widened 150% to EUR29.2m.

Group volumes dropped by 4%, but volumes in Ukraine fell by mid-teens, Coca-Cola's second largest bottler said. Ukraine accounts for about 4% of CCHBC's volumes.

“The current socio-economic and political environment (in Ukraine) is very difficult, severely impacting consumer demand,” the bottler said.

Currency fluctuations are also impacting profits and their negative effect for the full year is expected to be EUR90-100m compared to EUR32m last year, CCHBC said. A spokesperson told just-drinks the fluctuations have mainly been felt in Russia and Ukraine, which together account for about a quarter of volumes. Volumes in Russia grew by high single digits.

Meanwhile, profits were hit by one-off pre-buying ahead of announced price increases. CCHBC said this year that The Coca-Cola Co had increased concentrate prices, with analysts putting the rise at 2-3%. 

CEO Dimitris Lois said: “This quarter, Easter phasing and other timing issues combined with one-off items in some of our major markets has resulted in weak performance. Given the seasonality of our business, the first quarter is typically small and therefore, not indicative of our expected full-year performance.”

CCHBC's share price was flat in morning trading.

To read the company's full results, click here.


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