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Coca-Cola HBC sees first-half sales boosted by hot weather and World Cup period

The FTSE 100 bottler of Coca-Cola beverages reported an operating profit (EBIT) for the first half of €303.9mln, up 14.1% on the same period a year ago
Coca Cola bottles
The bottler saw particularly strong growth in its developing markets

Coca-Cola HBC AG (LON:CCH) has reported solid sales and profit growth in the first half, boosted by the hot summer weather and the world cup period.

The FTSE 100 bottler of Coca-Cola brand beverages reported an operating profit (EBIT) for the first half of €303.9mln, up 14.1% on the same period a year ago, while net sales revenue inched up 0.5% to €3.22bn.

READ: Coca-Cola HBC sees divine intervention as Easter helps boost volumes in first quarter

The company also saw an increase in its volumes, shifting 1.06bn unit cases during the period, a 4.6% increase on the first half of 2017, while its margins expanded to 9.4% from 8.3%.

The firm also reported growth across all its divisions, with its established, developing, and emerging markets rising by 0.9%, 8.9%, and 5.1% respectively.

The growth in developing markets was bolstered by strong performances in Poland, Hungary, and Croatia, which had previously reported a hefty 11.8% gain in the first quarter of the year.

In its outlook, the firm said it expected a scaling up of innovations in the second half t continue to support volume growth, with its established market segment to grow slightly faster than its other divisions.

The company also said it expected to “make progress” with growth in both its revenues and margins in the full year.

HBC also said that due to the identification of additional restructuring opportunities, the cost of its initiatives would increase to around €25mln in 2018, although these were expected to yield €12mln in annualised benefits from 2018 onwards.

Zoran Bogdanovic, chief executive of Coca-Cola HBC, said the company would retain its focus on “driving top-line growth and cost control” into the second half, adding that the company expected to deliver revenue growth and margin improvements in the full year.

In early morning trading Thursday, Coca-Cola HBC shares were down 1.3% at 2,713p

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