Profits rise for Coke bottler

Coca-Cola Enterprises reported Wednesday second-quarter net income of $313 million, compared to a $3.2 billion loss in the same period a year ago.

The loss last year was caused by a one-time, non-cash charge for the write-down of the estimated value of CCE’s franchise rights for North America. Atlanta-based CCE is the largest bottler of Coca-Cola products, producing and distributing Coke bottled and canned drinks for most of North America and parts of Europe.

Excluding last year’s massive write-down and other one-time costs, CCE still posted improvements. It had comparable earnings in the most recent quarter of 67 cents per share, well above the 56 cents in the second quarter of last year. The results also handily beat analyst expectations of 51 cents a share, according to a survey by Thomson Reuters.

CCE’s revenue fell 0.5 percent to $5.9 billion in the second quarter as the impact of a stronger dollar diminished international results. Excluding the impact of currency translations, the company said revenue rose 6 percent.

CCE’s bottle and can case volume fell 1 percent in the quarter but net pricing per case rose 8 percent. Coca-Cola and CCE have been broadening the price and package options for Coke products, including the introduction of 99-cent 16- and 14-ounce bottles that have sold well at convenience stores.

“We have responded to macroeconomic conditions with solid brand and marketplace initiatives, including enhancements to our price/package architecture and successful execution of efficiency and effectiveness programs,” said John Brock, CCE chairman and chief executive officer, in a press statement accompanying the results. “Our continued success will demand diligence in our revenue and brand building efforts, even stronger execution and an absolute commitment to cost control.”