Bottler Refresco has posted a 10% increase in net profit in the second quarter of its financial year, despite seeing disruption to its business during the period as a result of the COVID-19 crisis.
The group said that volumes for the quarter stood at 2.98 billion litres, roughly in line with the same quarter last year (3 billion litres), however while North America posted a 9.2% increase, Europe fell by 6.2%.
According to the group, while Europe reported 'strong volumes' at the end of the first quarter, partially caused by consumer stockpiling, this led to a 'significant volume reduction' at the start of the second quarter.
'However, volumes steadily recovered during the quarter with June volumes higher than the same month last year,' the firm added.
Volumes in the group's Retailer Brands division were down 2.9% in the quarter, largely due to the reduction in volume in April, while volume in Contract Manufacturing grew by 3.9%, boosted by the recent acquisition of two former PepsiCo plants in Spain, and a Coca-Cola European Partners facility in Milton Keynes, UK.
Refresco said that the 'vast majority' of its manufacturing sites were fully operational during the crisis, with the business implementing a wide variety of safety measures, as well as changes to shift schedules and operating lines.
"Looking at the first six months of the year, I am proud to report solid growth across all our key indicators," chief executive Hans Roelofs said.
"At the same time, we continued with the integration of the acquired businesses in the UK, Spain and the US and are well on track. On July 21, 2020, we announced the placement of a new €400 million Term Loan B to further facilitate our buy and build strategy and pursue accretive acquisition opportunities."
In July, the French Competition Authority approved the acquisition by Refresco of three juice bottling facilities operated by Britvic, a deal that was previously announced in November 2019.
"We expect to close the transaction in the fall, after which we will commence with the integration," Roelofs added.
© 2020 European Supermarket Magazine – your source for the latest retail news. Article by Stephen Wynne-Jones. Click subscribe to sign up to ESM: The European Supermarket Magazine