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Annual Results

Coca-Cola HBC sees good progress in margin recovery

16 February 2017 07:37

Coca-Cola HBC - a leading bottler of The Coca-Cola Co - reports another year of good progress with operating profits up 21% at €506.3m and the business developing in line with its 2020 strategic plan.

Net sales revenue for the year to the end of December totalled €6,219.0m - up 3.0% on an FX-neutral basis but down 2.0% after taking account of currency movements.

FX-neutral revenue per case grew in all geographic segments, up 2.9% overall.

The group said this substantial increase reflected its focus on value through price increases, mainly in emerging markets, as well as better package and category mix.

Volume increased by 0.1%, with good growth led by Nigeria and Romania, offset by continuing decline in Russia and weaker volume performance in Italy and Austria.

Cost efficiencies resulted in a 100 basis-point reduction in comparable operating expenses as a percentage of net sales revenue.

The group said comparable EBIT margin increased by 90 basis points to 8.3%, benefiting from revenue growth management initiatives, cost efficiencies and benign input costs; EBIT margin improved by 160 basis points to 8.1% on a reported basis.

Increased profits helped generate €431.2 million of free cash flow, up €19.4 million year on year.

Comparable EPS increased by 12.5% to €0.972; reported EPS increased by 23.1% to €0.949.

The bard of directors proposes a €0.44 dividend per share, a 10% increase on the 2015 dividend.

Chief executive Dimitris Lois said: "I am delighted with our 2016 performance and the momentum in the business.

"We have delivered solid currency-neutral revenue growth and another year of significant growth in margins and profits, representing a sustainable and well established recovery.

"Cost and efficiency actions continue to improve profitability and enable the business to maximise the gains from top line growth.

"In 2017, we expect slightly better economic conditions to support volume growth.

"We take confidence from these improving underlying trends as well as the success of both our commercial activities and cost initiatives, which will remain key focus areas in our plans.

"We are confident that 2017 will be a year of currency-neutral revenue growth and margin expansion as we continue to make progress towards our 2020 targets."

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