Coca-Cola HBC celebrates double digit percentage growth in sales and profits

Coca-Cola HBC celebrates double digit percentage growth in sales and profits

Boosted by the reopening of hospitality, Coca-Cola Hellenic Bottling Company (HBC) Northern Ireland, which operates from a 500,000 sq ft facility at Knockmore Hill, saw revenues rise by 15.5 per cent to £236.5 million last year.

That followed a difficult 2020, in which pandemic-year sales slipped by nearly 12 per cent to £204.7 million.

Pre-tax profit rose to £44.2m from the previous year (£33.2m), while on a bottom-line basis the company – which has had a presence in Northern Ireland for more than 80 years – banked £35.3m in profits, up from £28.8m previously.

But it also made an actuarial gain of more than £7.2m on the projections used to value its defined benefit pension obligations, bringing its total comprehensive income for the year (net of tax) to just shy of £42.8m.

Coca-Cola HBC is the authorised bottling partner to The Coca-Cola Company for the island of Ireland, responsible for the manufacture, distribution, sale and channel marketing of its non-alcoholic ready-to-drink beverage portfolio.

It produces global brands Coca-Cola, Coca-Cola Zero Sugar, Diet Coke, Fanta, Sprite, Appletiser, Schweppes and the 1783 range, as well as locally-owned brands Deep RiverRock, Deep RiverRock ViTAL and Fruice.

The company’s Lisburn payroll fell over the year from 450 to 420, with small job losses across all four of its employee divisions (production, distribution, administration and sales & marketing).

But total staff costs still rose by more than £2 million to £23.9m.

Its highest-paid director (general manager Miles Karemacher) had a slight reduction in his salary from £176,314 to £171,939.

In a statement with its accounts, the company said: “We performed ahead of expectations in 2021, impacted by the lifting of Covid-19 related government restrictions sooner than forecast.”

The directors also said they remain committed to “long-term creation of shareholder value by increasing our market share through organic growth, including new product innovations.”

Last year Coca-Cola HBC Northern Ireland became the first soft drinks producer in Ireland to move all its multi-pack cans to more sustainable cardboard solutions, helping it to move closer to its ‘World Without Waste’ vision by eliminating the use of more than 500 tonnes of shrink wrap plastic each year.

Combined with a £10m-plus investment in more recycled plastic and a reduction of plastic use overall, the company says it has reduced plastic usage by almost 5,000 tonnes annually since 2019.