By Andrew Starke

Coca-Cola Amatil (CCA) has delivered a net profit of $506.6 million for 2010 with Pacific Beverages, the soft drinks producer’s alcoholic beverages joint venture with SABMiller, also returning a profit.

Overall the company posted a full-year profit increase of 10.8 percent, in-line with market expectations, despite what CCA’s group managing director Terry Davis called 'a challenging year for any company affected by consumer spending'.

CCA said it had made a solid start to 2011 with volume and revenue growth ahead of last year in all states except Queensland.

The company’s 50 percent share of the Pacific Beverages JV delivered a profit of $1.5 million after a loss of $2.3 million in 2009.

The commissioning of the new $120 million Bluetongue Brewery in June and the transition to local production of Pacific Beverages’ premium beer portfolio in both packaged and draught beer were the obvious highlights over 2010.

“The scaling up of production at the brewery has been successful and it is currently operating at 60 percent annualised capacity utilisation,” said Davis.

“Since September, the brewery has been producing draught Peroni, Grolsch and Bluetongue, as well as Bruers Bright, a new-age draught beer which was successfully launched in November.

“For 2011, a key focus for the business will be the expansion of draught beer volume.”

CCA said challenging trading conditions in the beer market had led to discounting and generally softer category volumes, exacerbated by the impact of unseasonably wet weather in the eastern states.

Pacific Beverages now has five brands in the Top 20 premium beer brands in Australia, with Peroni Nastro Azzurro and Grolsch positioned in the Top 10, according to Nielsen Scan Track Liquor date (MAT to Jan 2).

Beam Full Spirits and Dark alcoholic ready-to drink (ARTD) beverages increased market share, driven by Canadian Club, the fastest growing major spirits and ARTD brand in Australia over the year.

Russian Standard more than doubled its share of Vodka Full Spirit to 4.1 percent.

The Shout Team

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

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