Coke European Partners sees revenue growth, new London listing

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CreaWorldNews
CreaWorldNews

LONDON (Reuters) – Coca-Cola European Partners forecast another year of revenue and profit growth for 2019, and announced plans to seek a new stock market listing on London’s main stock exchange.

The world’s largest independent bottler of Coca-Cola drinks on Thursday also reported higher fourth-quarter sales and operating profit, helped by higher prices that offset falling volumes.

Another Coke bottler, Coca-Cola HBC, on Thursday forecast higher costs and weaker economies that will weigh on 2019 results, sending its shares lower.

Coke European Partners forecast low single-digit revenue growth for 2019, excluding any impact from currency fluctuations or incremental soft drink taxes, and comparable operating profit growth of 6 to 7 percent. It forecast earnings per share to grow 10 to 11 percent.

In the fourth quarter, the company said revenue rose 5 percent to 2.8 billion euros. Volume fell 2.5 percent, while revenue per case rose 6 percent.

Comparable earnings per share were 54 euro cents.

The company said it planned to continue a share buyback, buying up to 1 billion euros worth of its stock this year.

It also plans to seek admission to the Main Market of the London Stock Exchange as a standard listing, and to delist from Euronext London effective 28 March 2019.

(Reporting by Martinne Geller; Editing by Edmund Blair)