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Coca Cola Amatil drives costs lower in New Zealand, increases 1H profit

Tuesday 20th August 2013

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Coca-Cola Amatil, one of the world's top five Coke bottlers, has posted a 10.4 percent increase in first-half earnings in New Zealand and Fiji due to cost-cutting while it posted a 10.1 percent fall in profit in Australia.

The bottler of Coca-Cola, Lift, Fanta and other drinks brands reported earnings before interest and tax in New Zealand and Fiji of $A34.1 million in the six months ended June 30, up from A$30.9 million in the same period a year earlier. Australian EBIT fell 10.1 percent to A$263.6 million.

Trading revenue in New Zealand and Fiji rose by 6.5 percent to $A202.2 million, while revenue per unit case rose by 5.1 percent to $A7.05. Other revenue fell to $A3.2 million from $A4.4 million.

The EBIT margin rose six basis points to 16.9 percent.

The ASX-listed shares fell 4.5 percent to A$12.165 in trading today.

The company said it traded strongly in New Zealand, though second-quarter volumes were lower because volumes were built up the previous year for the implementation of a SAP information technology platform.

The implementation of that system, a 10 percent reduction in head count since 2012, and automation of the supply chain provided significant cost savings.

The company said difficult trading conditions in the Australian grocery distribution channel were responsible for the fall in Australian earnings.

Group profit fell 12 percent to A$215.9 million including a A$9.2 million charge on restructuring costs of rationalising its smaller bottling sites. Group revenue fell 6.9 percent to A$1.37 billion.

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