CCA trading continues to remain solid

Coca-Cola Amatil (CCA) said at its AGM that the Australian beverage business has made a solid start to the year for the first half to 30 June 2010.

CCA said it expects the business in Australia to deliver high single-digit earnings growth, which will be driven by revenue management and efficiency gains.

“Cycling the very strong first half of 2009 in Australia was always going to be challenging. In the year to date, I am pleased that the strength of our business model in effectively balancing pricing, volume growth and market share in each of our markets has continued to serve the business well,” said Terry Davis, CCA’s group managing director.

Also, the company said the business is cycling more favourable summer weather and the benefits of the stimulus package last year, which saw volumes grow by more than 8 per cent in the first quarter of 2009.

CCA also added that the Australian business continues to experience a noticeable shift in consumer behaviour. Demand for premium beverages in restaurants and cafes remains subdued, but this has been offset by the increased sales in quick-service restaurants and for take-home products in the grocery channel.

Meanwhile, CCA has successfully commissioned its first two Australian PET bottle in-line blow-fill lines at its Northmead manufacturing facility in NSW in April, at a cost of $45 million. The lines are delivering cost savings in line with expectations through the elimination of empty bottle storage and reduced handling and transport costs. The ability to light-weight the bottles has delivered a material reduction in the amount of PET resin used in the manufacture of each bottle.

The company is expected to release a trading outlook for the second half of 2010 in August.

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