Coca-Cola HBC AG maintains growth trajectory despite challenges

Coca-Cola HBC AG (LSE: CCH), the Swiss-based soft-drink bottling partner of Coca-Cola Co, stood resilient in the face of economic challenges as it announced a steadfast maintenance of its full-year revenue guidance. The company’s shares experienced a modest 0.2% uptick, reaching 2,149.00 at 10:00 GMT on Tuesday morning.

In the three months leading up to September 30, the company reported a stellar 15% growth in organic revenue, further bolstered by a 2.2% increase in organic volume. Key contributors to this growth were the strategic priorities set by the company, with the Sparkling division seeing a 1.5% rise, a solid 25% growth in Energy, and a 34% uplift in Coffee.

Coca-Cola HBC attributed this success to its meticulous revenue growth management initiatives, permeating all categories and segments. Organic revenue per case surged by 13%, underlining the cumulative benefits reaped from these strategic endeavours.

CEO Zoran Bogdanovic expressed contentment, stating, “Our sophisticated revenue growth management, powered by data, insights, and analytics, is helping us to adapt our initiatives and execution to different consumer environments and successfully balance affordability and premiumisation.”

The company reported a broad-based organic revenue growth, particularly in emerging markets. Countries like Egypt showcased a substantial 22% organic revenue increase due to heightened volumes. In developing markets, strong performances in Energy and Coffee offset weaker volumes in Sparkling, Water, and Juices, resulting in a commendable 16% rise in organic revenue.

Despite challenges in certain regions, Coca-Cola HBC’s strategic approach has led to a positive trajectory. In Ukraine, the company saw a low-single-digit decline in volume, while in Russia, volumes, although down 40% from 2021, displayed an upward trend compared to the corresponding quarter last year.

Bogdanovic emphasised the company’s commitment to sustainability. “We continue to invest in our future with a clear focus on delivering against our sustainability agenda,” he said. Initiatives such as introducing eco-friendly alternatives to plastic shrink film in Austria and investments in recycled PET capabilities in Romania highlight Coca-Cola HBC’s dedication to environmental responsibility.

Coca-Cola HBC AG remains optimistic, expecting organic earnings before interest and tax to range between nine and 12% in 2023. Additionally, the company raised its medium-term targets, now aiming for average annual organic revenue growth of 6% to 7% per year. Despite lingering macroeconomic uncertainties, Coca-Cola HBC AG stands resilient, and poised to meet its medium-term objectives.