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Coca-Cola HBC upbeat on 2018 - Q1 2018 results

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  • First-quarter sales rise by 4.5% to EUR1.35bn (US$1.6bn)
  • Volumes increase 2.3%
  • Top-line in reported terms dips 1.7% in three months to end of March

A mid-single-digit sales lift in the first quarter has set the scene for what Coca-Cola HBC expects to be a healthy 2018.

Coca-Cola HBC is hoping for a bumper second quarter, especially in Russia, which hosts the FIFA World Cup next month

Coca-Cola HBC is hoping for a bumper second quarter, especially in Russia, which hosts the FIFA World Cup next month

The Coca-Cola bottler, which operates in 28 markets predominantly in Europe and Africa, said yesterday that sales in the three months to the end of March increased 4.5% on the corresponding period last year, on an FX-neutral basis. The lift came despite continued weakness in Nigeria and Russia, both of which have been forecast by the group to improve in 2018.

Earlier this year, when reporting a 6% sales rise for 2017, CCHBC said it expected Nigeria and Russia to perform better this year as they return to volume growth and Nigeria's economy stabilises. In the first quarter, however, both markets registered "weak" volumes.

For the group, volumes improved in the period, aided by the earlier timing of Easter this year, which moved sales leading up to the long weekend into the first quarter.

"We are pleased to report a good start to the year in line with our expectations," said CEO Zoran Bogdanovic yesterday. "With strong commercial plans in place and anticipated gradual economic recovery in Russia and Nigeria, we expect our revenue growth to accelerate as the year progresses."

On a category basis, the CSD portfolio increased volumes by 2.8% year-on-year, while the bottled water and juice stables were both down low single-digits. The energy drinks segment for CCHBC jumped by almost 28% in volumes.

To read CCHBC's official results statement, click here.


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