Annual sales rise 7% for Pepsi Bottling Group

by Jeff Gelski
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SOMERS, N.Y. – The Pepsi Bottling Group, Inc. (P.B.G.) reported revenue growth of 7% for the fiscal year ended Dec. 29 even though worldwide sales volume was flat. Revenue of $13.6 billion compared to $12.7 billion in the previous fiscal year.

"We delivered strong worldwide net revenue per case growth despite significant commodity cost pressures and achieved impressive productivity gains through operational excellence," said Eric Foss, president and chief executive officer of P.B.G., when results were announced Jan. 9.

Net revenue per case grew 6% worldwide. Fiscal year net income was $532 million, or $2.29 diluted earnings per share, and included a net after-tax gain of $21 million, or 9c per diluted share, from tax items, restructuring charges and an asset disposal charge. P.B.G. the previous year reported net income of $522 million, or $2.16 per share.

In the 2008 fiscal year, P.B.G. expects to achieve top-line growth of about 6% to 7% and reported operating profit growth of 4% to 6%. The company forecasts comparable diluted e.p.s. of $2.30 to $2.38.

In the fourth quarter ended Dec. 29, P.B.G. reported net revenue of $4 billion, which compared to $3.8 billion in the previous year’s fourth quarter. Worldwide physical case volume in the fourth quarter was flat, but net revenue per case improved 8%.

Fourth-quarter net income of $81 million, or diluted e.p.s. of 35c, included a net after-tax charge of $11 million, or about 5c per diluted share, due to restructuring charges, an asset disposal charge and tax items. Fourth-quarter net income in the previous year was $133 million, or diluted e.p.s. of 55c that included a diluted gain per share of 22c due primarily to the reversal of tax reserves.

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