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Hot European summer helps Coca Cola HBC’s third-quarter sales to fizz higher

"We are very pleased with the strong revenue delivery in the quarter, well balanced between broad-based volume growth and substantial price/mix improvement”
coca cola bottles
Coca Cola HBC bottles and sells Coca Cola drinks in 28 countries, mainly in Europe and Asia

A hot summer in southern Europe helped drinks maker Coca Cola HBC AG’s (LON:CCH) sales fizz higher in the third quarter.

The FTSE 100 group – which bottles and sells Coca Cola drinks in 28 countries mostly in Europe and Asia – saw revenues jump 5% to €1.82bn (Q3 2016: €1.74bn) in the three months to September 30.

Strong growth in established and developing markets

Its established markets segment which includes the UK, German, Spain, Portugal and others reported volume growth of 2.2%, while developing markets volume – think Hungary, Czech Republic, Poland – jumped 5.1% in the quarter.

Emerging markets – those such as Romania and Serbia where CCH has only recently started to really push its products – reported a 3.5% volume increase.

READ: Warm June and late Easter boost CCH's first half profits

Growth elsewhere helped to more than offset declines in Nigeria which was the only territory not in its summer season, CCH said.

Perhaps unsurprisingly given the more health-consumer consumer nowadays, low-calorie ‘sparkling drinks’ and bottles of water are starting to outperform full-sugar variants, sales of which have declined in established markets.

On track to hit expectations

"We are very pleased with the strong revenue delivery in the quarter, well balanced between broad-based volume growth and substantial price/mix improvement,” said acting chief executive Michalis Imellos.

“We go into the final quarter encouraged by our progress and confident in delivering on our expectations for the full year."

Looking for new CEO after sudden death of Dimitris Lois

Coca Cola HBC had to deal with the sudden death of its chief executive Dimitris Lois during the period.

The 55-year-old announced he was taking a leave of absence early in September for treatment of a medical condition but he passed away just a few weeks later.

READ: CCh announces sudden death of CEO

The company said today that it has a “succession plan” for the CEO position and that a “thorough process” to find Lois’ replacement is underway.

Shares edged 0.7% higher to £25.79 shortly after the opening bell on Thursday.

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