Coca-Cola Enterprises reports Q1 net earnings of US$115M, up 88.5% from year-ago period as net sales rise 1.1% to US$1.87B

ATLANTA , April 24, 2014 (press release) – First-quarter diluted earnings per share were 44 cents on a reported basis, or 46 cents on a comparable basis, including a currency benefit of 3 cents.

Net sales were $1.9 billion, up 1 percent on a reported basis or down 2½ percent on a currency neutral basis; volume declined 1½ percent.

Reported operating income was $184 million; comparable operating income was $194 million, up 8 percent or up 2 percent on a currency neutral basis.

CCE affirms its full-year guidance for 2014, including comparable and currency neutral earnings per diluted share growth of approximately 10 percent, low single-digit net sales growth, and mid-single-digit operating income growth.

Coca-Cola Enterprises, Inc. (CCE)(Euronext Paris: CCE) today reported first-quarter 2014 operating income of $184 million, or $194 million on a comparable basis. In the quarter, diluted earnings per share were 44 cents on a reported basis, or 46 cents on a comparable basis. Currency translation had a positive impact of approximately 3 cents on comparable diluted earnings per share. Items affecting comparability are detailed on pages 10 through 12 of this release.

For the first quarter, net sales totaled $1.9 billion, an increase of 1 percent from the same quarter a year ago. On a currency neutral basis, net sales declined 2½ percent.

“Our results for the first quarter, our smallest of the year, were impacted by a combination of operating and marketplace factors and the timing of the Easter holiday,” said John F. Brock, chairman and chief executive officer. “As we move into the important summer season, we believe our solid marketing and operating initiatives, coupled with our disciplined financial approach, will enable us to build on the value of our brands, reach our full-year targets, and continue to focus on building shareowner value.”

OPERATING REVIEW

During the first quarter, volume declined 1½ percent, including a decline of 9 percent in Great Britain and growth of 3½ percent on the Continent. The decline in Great Britain reflected a combination of market factors, including competitive conditions, the transition from 2-liter PET bottles to 1.75-liter PET bottles, and wet weather. Volume in continental Europe was led by solid growth in Coca-Cola trademark brands and mid-single-digit growth in still brands.

For the first quarter, net pricing per case was up 1 percent and cost of sales per case was flat. Operating expenses declined 3½ percent. These figures are comparable and currency neutral.

“Our first quarter volume performance reflects the impact of key operating strategies, including disciplined pricing and the transition to a new package in Great Britain, as well as dynamic market conditions,” said Hubert Patricot, executive vice president and president, European Group. “We continue to believe our solid customer relationships, excellent marketing initiatives, and ability to execute and activate at the highest levels will enable us to deliver volume growth in 2014.

“We will continue to manage our business to ensure that we invest for the long term while delivering on our current year objectives.”

SHARE REPURCHASE

In December 2013, our Board of Directors approved a new $1 billion share repurchase program – the fourth program since the creation of new CCE. The company continues to expect to repurchase approximately $800 million of its shares by the end of 2014. These plans may be adjusted depending on economic, operating, or other factors, including acquisition opportunities.

FULL-YEAR 2014 OUTLOOK

For 2014, CCE continues to expect earnings per diluted share to grow approximately 10 percent on a comparable and currency neutral basis. Based on recent rates, currency translation would benefit full-year 2014 earnings per share by just over 5 percent.

Net sales are expected to grow in a low single-digit range and operating income is expected to grow in a mid-single-digit range. This outlook is comparable and currency neutral.

The company now expects 2014 free cash flow of approximately $650 million. Capital expenditures are expected to be approximately $350 million. Weighted average cost of debt is expected to be approximately 3 percent and the comparable effective tax rate for 2014 is expected to be in a range of 26 percent to 28 percent.

CONFERENCE CALL

CCE will host a conference call with investors and analysts today at 10 a.m. EDT. The call can be accessed through the company’s website at www.cokecce.com.

ABOUT CCE

Coca-Cola Enterprises, Inc. (CCE) is the leading Western European marketer, producer, and distributor of non-alcoholic ready-to-drink beverages and one of the world’s largest independent Coca-Cola bottlers. CCE is the sole licensed bottler for products of The Coca-Cola Company in Belgium, continental France, Great Britain, Luxembourg, Monaco, the Netherlands, Norway, and Sweden. We operate with a local focus and have 17 manufacturing sites across Europe, where we manufacture nearly 90 percent of our products in the markets in which they are consumed. Corporate responsibility and sustainability is core to our business, and we have been recognized by leading organizations in North America and Europe for our progress in water use reduction, carbon footprint reduction, and recycling initiatives. For more information about our company, please visit our website at www.cokecce.com and follow us on twitter at @cokecce.

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