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Gloucestershire Business News

Coca-Cola HBC posts record revenue

Drinks bottler Coca-Cola HBC hit record sales revenue last year despite the impact of the Ukraine war.

Coca-Cola HBC shares soared after the bottler beat profit forecasts and saw sales surge against a challenging economic backdrop, Mail Online's This Money reported.

The anchor bottler's net sales revenue increased by 28.2% to a record €9.2billion in 2022, following price hikes and solid organic growth in established and developing markets.

Trading received a further boost from acquiring a majority stake in the Cola Bottling Company of Egypt, beneficial currency movements and volume expansion in sparkling, energy and coffee brands.

Net profits tumbled by around a quarter to €415.4million, mainly due to impairment costs related to the firm's decision to restructure its operations in Russia amid the escalation of the Ukraine war.

But comparable operating profits rose to their highest ever levels of €929.7million, compared to a forecast range of €860million to €900million, as did free cash flow.

This was despite margins being squeezed by greater production, marketing and energy costs and a one-off benefit from selling property in Cyprus in 2021.

Coca-Cola HBC shares were the best performer on the FTSE 100 Index on Tuesday, rising 6.1% to £20.60, although they remain below levels prior to Russia's full-scale invasion of Ukraine.

Energy and commodity prices have increased since the Russian military's offensive escalated in February 2022, sending companies across the globe scrambling for ways to rein in costs while households struggle to manage their bills, This is Money said.

Most companies have raised prices in a bid to pass on some of these costs to their consumers.

Although a cost of living crisis has seen a shift in consumer spending, packaged beverage and food makers have continued to see resilient demand.

The Coca-Cola Company, which owns a 21% holding in Swiss-headquartered HBC, credited price hikes with its organic revenues tipping above $10billion in the final three months of last year.

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