By Andrew Starke

Coca-Cola Amatil (CCA) has reported a net profit of $189.8 million for the first six months of 2009, up by 10.4 percent on the same period last year.

Australia’s biggest soft-drink bottler said it would increase capital expenditure over the remainder of the year, investing as much as $350 million on new drink coolers, vending machines and extra distribution in Australia, New Zealand and Indonesia.

“Strong price discipline and mix management, combined with efficiency gains and cost savings generated from CCA’s infrastructure development program as well as the increase in earnings from the manufacture and distribution of alcoholic beverages all contributed to the excellent result for the Australian beverage business,” CCA’s group managing director, Terry Davis, said.

Pacific Beverages, CCA’s joint venture with SABMiller, delivered 50 percent growth in its premium beer brands, which was attributed to increased availability and the March launch of Peroni Leggera.

CCA reported that Pacific Beverage’s premium beer brands now account for over eight percent of the Australian premium beer market by both volume and value, with Peroni Nastro Azzurro and Miller Chill established amongst the top 15 premium beer brands.

Volume growth was led by Bluetongue (up 60 percent), Peroni Nastro Azzurro (up 40 percent) and Miller Genuine Draft (up 20 percent).

However CCA’s RTD brand range, Jim Beam & Cola, fared less well, experiencing declines as a result of the 70 percent excise tax increase.

The overall decline was partially off-set by a solid increase in full spirit sales as consumers switched from RTDs to full spirit sales.

The first six months of 2009 saw CCA contribute approximately $13 million into the Pacific Beverages joint venture to fund its share of brewery development costs.

The Shout Team

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

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