TOP NEWS: Coca-Cola HBC first quarter sales up as mulls Russia options

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(Alliance News) – Coca-Cola HBC AG on Thursday said its revenue surged in the first quarter of 2022, and the soft drink bottler expects to have a “much smaller presence” in Russia in the wake of the Kremlin’s invasion of Ukraine.

Zug, Switzerland-based Coca-Cola HBC is evaluating its options in Russia, after Coca Cola Co suspended business there and stopped taking orders for concentrate from March 8.

“We are in the process of implementing this decision in close alignment with the Coca-Cola Co,” Coca-Cola HBC said.

“Following this decision, we will have a much smaller presence in the market focused on local brands. We are evaluating all options here and will share more in due course, alongside the financial implications of any decision made for both 2022 performance and the level of non-cash charges.”

The FTSE 100 constituent recorded strong growth in the first quarter, with organic revenue – minus its Russian and Ukrainian operations – surging 26%.

In the three months to March 31, the bottling partner of Coca-Cola Co reported group revenue growth of 31% to EUR1.77 billion from EUR1.35 billion, with established markets up 20%, developing up 40% and emerging up 36%.

Group volume was up 23% in the first quarter to 605.5 million cases from 490.8 million the year prior.

Chief Executive Officer Zoran Bogdanovic said: The inflationary environment has only intensified since our last set of results, and this is why I am so pleased to see the effective use of our revenue growth management capabilities, including pricing, visible in our performance. There are several other highlights from the quarter including welcoming Egypt to the group, ongoing strong performance from Sparkling and Energy and, in particular, the very strong market share performance which continued to accelerate in Q1.”

Shares in the company were 1.0% higher at 1,614.17 pence each in London on Thursday morning.

By Eric Cunha; ericcunha@alliancenews.com

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