Innocent helps Coke mark double digit European revenue lift

The premium priced Innocent portfolio helped drive a double increase in Coca-Cola’s European revenues in the last quarter, despite volumes being flat in the period.

The premium price of Innocent products helped boost European Coca-Cola Q3 year on year.

European net operating revenue rose 10 per cent year on year to $1.42bn in the three months to 27 September. This figure was slightly down on the previous quarter, when it reported $1.5bn in revenue in the region.

Revenues rose despite volume being down 1 per cent year on year in Europe, reflecting the benefit of consolidating Innocent branded juice and smoothies into the business and increasing the prices of the wider portfolio of Coca-Cola products. Operating profit was up 6 per cent in the quarter to $742m.

Coca-Cola’s acquisition of Innocent Drinks was given the green light by The Office of Fair Trading in May. The purchase prompted Innocent’s co-founders stepping away from the day-to-day running of the business and its former top marketer Douglas Lamont being promoted to the CEO position

Coca-Cola’s core sparkling and juice drinks were the key performers in Europe in the third quarter, which it says were driven by the extension of the “Share a Coke” marketing campaign to different markets, the ongoing “Coke with meals” programme and a “Crazy for Good” campaign, which encouraged random acts of kindness among consumers – although the activity did not run in the UK.

Globally, net revenue declined 3 per cent year on year to $12.03bn, despite volume growing 2 per in the period. Operating profit declined 12 per cent to $2.47bn

Muhtar Kent, Coca-Cola chairman and chief executive, says the company delivered “sound” third quarter results in the “confines” of an ongoing challenging macroeconomic environment.

He adds: “While we saw sequential improvement in the business compared to the second quarter, together with our global bottling partners, we remain constructively discontent and resolutely focused on further advancing our growth trajectory.”

In September Coca-Cola launched the 2014 FIFA World Cup Trophy Tour activity, which will be at the heart of the company’s “most extensive FIFA World Cup marketing campaign to date”, it says.

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