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Packaging And Design

Refresco Posts Mixed Results As It Begins Cott Integration

Netherlands-based drinks bottler Refresco has posted revenue of €2.27 billion in full-year 2017 – up by 7.6%, compared to the previous year.

The company saw volume sales rise from 6.4 billion to 7.1 billion litres, however, adjusted net profit decreased by 5.8%, to €81 million, and adjusted EBITDA fell from €222 million to €214 million.

Refresco CEO Hans Roelofs attributes this decline to higher costs and challenging market conditions.

"2017 was, for Refresco, strategically, a very good year and financially challenging," Roelofs said.

"A weak summer in almost all markets and continued pressure on retailer brands had an adverse effect on volumes and results. Our results were also influenced by higher-than-expected costs linked to the start-up of several new Aseptic PET lines across the business," he added.

Bottling Deals

One of Refresco's biggest moves in 2017 was its acquisition of Cott's bottling activities, completed in January of this year.

The Rotterdam-based company says that the integration of this business has now begun, and Brad Goist, the former president of Cott's bottling unit in North America, has been appointed as a new member of Refresco's executive board.

"We signed a transformational deal to acquire Cott's bottling activities, creating the world's largest independent bottler, with leadership positions across Europe and North America," said Roelofs.

"As a result, we will grow considerably, gain 4,000 new colleagues, 29 manufacturing sites, and fulfil our ambition to operate a market-leading bottling platform across two continents. It is a huge step forward, right at the heart of our buy-and-build strategy."

Earlier this year, Refresco also jointly announced, with a consortium of PAI Partners and British Columbia Investment Management Corporation, the launch of a recommend cash offer for all shares of Refresco for an offer price of €20 per share.

Roelofs described this as another "exciting development" for the company.

"With their track record, financial strength and understanding of our business and the beverages industry, the consortium can support Refresco's strategy going forward," he added. "We are convinced that this is a good transaction for the company and its stakeholders."

© 2018 European Supermarket Magazine – your source for the latest retail news. Article by Sarah Harford. Click subscribe to sign up to ESM: The European Supermarket Magazine.

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