By James Atkinson
Coca-Cola Amatil (CCA) grew volumes of the Peroni and Bluetongue beer brands dramatically last year, CEO Terry Davis said, as he announced the company's annual results.
Davis said that over the last 12 months CCA grew Peroni volumes in Australia by 35 per cent and Bluetongue by 40 per cent, putting them among Australia's fastest growing beer brands.
Peroni, BlueTongue and the other former Pacific Beverages brands are now sold and distributed by Carlton & United Brewers, following the termination of the joint venture between SABMiller and Coca-Cola Amatil.
But Davis reiterated that the development of the alcoholic beverage business remains a core growth strategy for CCA.
"We have spent the past four years developing expertise in the manufacturing, sales and distribution of premium alcohol brands which gives us a uniquely independent platform for the future distribution of domestic and international premium beer brands," he said.
"While in the short-term we may not be able to compete in beer in Australia, we are not restricted in our other markets and we would expect to be back in the beer business in Australia by 2014."
CCA reported net profit after tax of $591.8 million, an increase of 19 per cent on the 2010 full-year result, which includes a significant gain after tax of $59.8 million.
The significant gain of $59.8 million comprises $170.3 million in after tax profit from the agreement to sell CCA's 50 per cent share of the Pacific Beverages joint venture to SABMiller, net of $110.5 million in restructuring and associated costs for the SPC Ardmona business.
Earnings before interest and tax increased by 2.8 per cent to $868.9 million, before significant items, with trading revenue growth of 6.9 per cent boosted by the first time inclusion of revenue from the Beam Global sales and distribution agreement.