Coca-Cola Hellenic reports 2011 net earnings of €268.9M, down 37% from 2010 as company hurt by austerity in Greece and Italy, higher commodity costs

ATHENS , February 15, 2012 (press release) – * Top line: Net sales revenue grew by 1% while volume declined by 1% in 2011. A volume increase of 2% in developing markets was more than offset by a 3% decline in established and a 1% decline in emerging markets.
* Categories: Sparkling beverages and energy drinks volume increased by 2% and 29% respectively, in 2011. Volume in the water and juice categories declined by 7% and 8%, respectively.
* Brands: Premium sparkling brands grew ahead of total volume, with Coca-Cola growing 5%, Coca-Cola Zero growing 7%, and Fanta and Sprite growing 1%, each.
* Share gains: We gained or maintained volume share in sparkling beverages in 25 out of 28 markets in 2011.
* Comparable operating profit: Despite overall volume and net sales revenue remaining similar to last year, the continuing adverse impact of commodity costs and persisting economic challenges across most of our territories, combined with unfavourable country mix and foreign currency impact resulted in a 21% decline in comparable EBIT.
* Free Cash Flow and Capex: We generated free cash flow of €438 million in 2011. We plan to invest cumulative capital expenditure of €1.45 billion for the 2012-2014 period. We expect to generate free cash flow of €1.45 billion in the same period.

Dimitris Lois, Chief Executive Officer of Coca-Cola Hellenic, commented:

"We grew revenue ahead of volume both in the fourth quarter and for the full year 2011. Despite extremely challenging economic conditions in most of our markets, net sales revenue per case grew by 4% on a currency neutral basis in the full year. This result was achieved whilst growing or maintaining our volume share in sparkling beverages in twenty five out of twenty eight markets in 2011.

We expect the economic environment and consumer sentiment to remain weak in 2012. We also anticipate another year of significant input cost pressures. In this environment, we will continue to optimise our operations to reduce our ongoing costs. We remain committed to our revenue growth strategy, and we expect to further improve currency neutral net sales revenue per case while we continue building sustainable leadership in the marketplace.

We will sustain a strong free cash flow generation trend in 2012 through our focus on working capital management and set a competitive cost base through our operating efficiency initiatives."

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