Coca-Cola HBC sees top-line growth

Coca-Cola HBC AG, a leading bottler of The Coca-Cola Company, reports a strong performance in the first half. FX-neutral net sales revenue grew by 2.4%, or 3.0% taking into account the one less selling day; currencies continue to impact adversely, leading to a 3.4% decline in net sales revenue.

The company saw a robust increase in FX-neutral revenue per case of 2.4%, mainly due to better pricing trends across all segments compared to the prior-year period and a 110 basis point improvement in package mix. Other highlights: – Volume increased marginally on a strong prior-year period; taking into account the one less selling day in Q1, volume grew by 0.7% – Volume in the Established markets declined by 2.8%, partly impacted by unseasonably cool weather –

The Developing segment continued to demonstrate good volume growth momentum with all key categories contributing to the 3.5% volume growth – Nigeria, Romania and Serbia were key drivers of the 0.5% volume growth in the Emerging markets segment, which continued to be negatively impacted by Russia – Cost efficiencies and revenue leverage resulted in a 45 basis point reduction in comparable operating expenses as percentage of net sales revenue – Comparable EBIT margin increased by 60 basis points to 7.5%, benefiting from our revenue growth management initiatives, favourable input costs and cost efficiencies, which more than offset the adverse currency impact;

EBIT margin improved by 90 basis points to 7.2% on a reported basis – Comparable earnings per share was €0.416 – a 6.9% increase on the prior-year period; basic earnings per share was €0.387 – a 12.5% increase on the prior-year period Chief executive Dimitris Lois said:

“We are pleased with the strong performance in the first half of the year. The business delivered robust revenue growth and significant margin expansion, driven by improved pricing and mix trends, good progress on operating costs and a favourable input cost environment. “We remain confident that 2016 will be another year of currency-neutral revenue and operating margin growth