By Andrew Starke

Coca-Cola Amatil (CCA) group managing director Terry Davis has singled out the soft drink giant’s alcoholic beverage business as a key priority in securing future growth.

At its AGM today (May 4), the company said it was targeting net profit growth of five percent for the first half of 2011.

However this figure would likely be closer to seven percent were it not for higher operating costs and the impact on volume growth caused by a number of factors.

“The devastating natural disasters, higher resin prices and the impact from the strengthening Australian dollar have all taken the gloss off what was a promising start to the year,” said Davis.

A five per cent rise would be equivalent to about $223 million, compared with $212.7 million reported for the first half of calendar 2010.

Davis said CCA would continue to leverage its sales and distribution infrastructure to grow its alcoholic beverages business as a matter of priority.

“In terms of the beer business, we are very pleased with the progress we are making. Our draught beer, particularly Peroni and Bluetongue, are achieving very strong growth,” he said.

“And our Jim Beam business continues to go from strength and we have recently extended that relationship with Beam with a new 10 year distribution agreement.”

Shares in Coca-Cola Amatil fell by 21 cents, or 1.77 per cent, to $11.65 at 10am today (May 4), the lowest point since March 29, but had recovered slightly to be trading at $11.69 at 2pm.

The Shout Team

The leading online news service for Australia's beer, wine, spirits and hospitality industries.

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