Coca-Cola HBC saw its shares bubble up today (7 July) after its first-half trading led to a lift in its profit forecast.

The UK-listed Coca-Cola bottler said its performance in June – described as “one of our most significant months” – had been “very good overall”.

In the brief trading update, Coca-Cola HBC said it now expects “strong organic EBIT growth” in the first half of the year.

The company told investors it would benefit from the “operating leverage from double-digit top-line growth”. It noted it had seen “good improvements to price/mix”.

In the first half of 2022, Coca-Cola HBC generated “comparable EBIT” of £462.5m ($590.3m), itself a 23% rise versus a year earlier on an organic basis.

Net sales revenue was up 19.4% at £4.21bn, with volumes 4.7% higher organically.

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By GlobalData

Coca-Cola HBC is now forecasting its organic EBIT in 2023 will grow by 9-12% – a notable uplift from its previous prediction it would either fall 3% at worst or rise 3% at best.

The company is scheduled to report its half-year accounts on 9 August.

Shares in Coca-Cola HBC were up 4.73% at 2,363p at 11:47 BST today.

Last month, the group made a move to expand its position in alcohol with the acquisition of the Finlandia vodka brand from Brown-Forman.

Speaking to Just Drinks, Coca-Cola HBC chief executive Zoran Bogdanovic said the company believed owning or distributing spirits brands helps bolster sales of its non-alcoholic drinks portfolio.

However, he played down the possibility of further M&A in spirits, describing Finlandia as a “unique and specific opportunity”.

More on Just Drinks: Deal focus: Brown-Forman and Coca-Cola HBC both see upsides as Finlandia changes hands