Coca-Cola European Partners has reported a decline in revenue and volume in the first quarter and withdrawn its guidance for the financial year 2020, citing uncertainty around the COVID-19 pandemic.
The beverage group posted a 4% year-on-year decline in revenue, to €2.48 million, during the financial quarter. However, the revenue per unit case grew by 1.5%, driven by favourable price mix and promotions.
It was offset by negative channel and pack mix, particularly in March, as a result of the closure of commercial foodservice establishments, the company said.
The beverage giant reported a 4% decline in volume during the quarter, with the still beverages category seeing a 9% drop.
The sparkling drinks category saw a 3% decline in volume with Coca-Cola reporting a 2.5% decline and the flavoured, mixers and energy drinks segment posting a 4% drop.
The company attributed the decline in volume to its planned pricing strategy and the initial impact of the pandemic across its markets.
Great Britain and France saw the steepest decline in revenue of 6.5% during the quarter, generating €495 million and €413million respectively.
Germany generated €517 million in revenue, down 2% year-on-year, while the Iberian division, comprising Spain, Portugal and Andorra, reported a 1.5% drop in revenue to €529 million.
In Northern Europe, revenue for the quarter amounted to €524 million, down 4% year-on-year.
Coca-Cola European Partners is confident about the future of its business post the crisis but has withdrawn its guidance for the fiscal year.
Chief executive of Coca-Cola European Partners, Damian Gammell, commented, “Despite the uncertainty that surrounds us today, our confidence in the future of our business is driving us to take the right actions to protect our performance, conserve cash and lay the foundations for recovery, all underpinned by a strong balance sheet.
"We are committed to helping society rebuild and recover, creating sustainable value and a better future for people and the planet.”
The company has also announced several measures to keep the business well-positioned and preserve flexibility during this period.
These include, among others, the suspension of a previously announced share buyback programme and the deferral of dividend for H12020.