Coca-Cola Enterprises income up 26% in quarter

by Staff
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ATLANTA — Coca-Cola Enterprises, Inc. posted a net income of $268 million in the third quarter, equal to 56c per share on the common stock, up 26% compared with $213 million, or 45c per share, during the same quarter of 2006.

Net operating revenue was $5,405,000,000, up 4% compared with $5,218,000,000 during the same quarter of the previous year.

"We continue to make solid progress against our strategic objectives, driving improving levels of customer service, efficiency and effectiveness through our restructuring efforts as we significantly expand and enhance our brand portfolio in conjunction with The Coca-Cola Co.," said John F. Brock, president and chief executive officer. "These efforts are strengthening our company for the long term and will enable us to reach our long-term performance targets more quickly as we move beyond this year’s unusually high increase in the cost of goods environment in North America."

In North America, the cost of sales per case increased 9% and net pricing per case was up 6%. Volume was down 3%.

"Although third-quarter volume in North America remained soft, in part due to essential pricing initiatives, we remain optimistic about our long-term outlook and growth potential," Mr. Brock said. "For example, we are encouraged by the progress of our Red, Black, and Silver execution initiative — highlighted by the ongoing development of Coca-Cola Zero — which continues to increase consumer awareness of our core brands."

Mr. Brock said the Glaceau brands will enhance the company’s position in the category of still and emerging beverages in North America. In addition, the company said distribution of Fuze, the Campbell’s single-serve beverages and Glaceau will enhance the company’s ability to reach long-term growth objectives.

For the nine months, net income was $553 million, equal to $1.15 per share, down 26% from $568 million, equal to $1.20 per share, during the same period of the previous year. Net operating revenue was $15,637,000,000, up 4% compared with $15,018,000,000.

For the full-year, the company expects its earnings per diluted common share to be in the range of $1.31 and $1.36.

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