By Ian Neubauer
Coca-Cola Amatil (CCA) defied the economic downturn, cost increases and a declining revenue — not to mention a protracted takeover bid by Lion Nathan — to deliver full-year earnings of $404.3 million, a 10 per cent increase on the previous 12 months.
But it comes on the back of $340 million in added debt earmarked for expenditure on product development, plants, software upgrades and advertising.
“Whilst no business is immune to changes in the economic cycle, we have maintained our focus on extending our customer service leadership position and bringing innovative new products to market,” said CCA chief executive, Terry Davis.
“This, together with strong revenue management, enabled full recovery of costs of goods increases, which is the major contributor to the strong earnings growth.”
The bottler launched a number of non-alcoholic drinks in the period, the most notable being Mother, which took a huge chunk of the energy market in the blink of an eye.
CCA also delivered $50 million profit from its Indonesian and PNG operations — an impressive 37.5 per cent increase on the previous period. It follows a disastrous billion-dollar foray into South Korea in 1998 CCA was forced to let go of in 2007 following at least three year-on-year earning drops.
Looking forward, CCA said it aims to continue its expansion into non-alcoholic drinks in Australia and New Zealand with new products and product development, invest $100 million in cold drink coolers and vending equipment and increase capacity in Indonesia.
CCA shares were trading at $8.71 at 10:00am today (Feb 13) compared to $9.35 seven days ago.