Coca-Cola Consolidated – the largest Coke bottler in the US – has reported second-quarter sales growth of 5%, adding to the generally upward movement of Coca-Cola’s largest bottlers.
The company reported sales of $1.23 billion – up nearly 5% on the same period last year – as well as operating income of $19.7 million.
It began to implement “productivity actions” during the second quarter to drive additional cost savings and margin improvement, with further initiatives planned for the second half of the year.
Frank Harrison, chairman and CEO of Coca-Cola Consolidated, said: “While we are pleased with our ability to achieve both top-line volume and revenue growth in a challenging macro-economic environment, we remain keenly focused on improving our overall profitability and reducing our debt. We will continue to invest strategically for all our stakeholders – teammates, customers, consumers, communities and shareowners – with a focus on long-term growth. We are grateful to serve these many partners and we are particularly thankful for all of our Coke Consolidated teammates who deliver our results daily.”
The company has spent the last year focusing on its distribution facilities, investing $5 million in South Carolina and $10 million in Baltimore, Maryland before announcing plans to build a brand new sales and distribution facility in northern Kentucky this July.
In its second-quarter revenue, which is more than $50 million higher than the same three months of last year, Coke Consolidated appears to be benefiting from the territory trade-off it underwent at the beginning of last year.
The company acquired additional distribution territory in parts of Arkansas, Tennessee and South Carolina – as well as manufacturing facilities straddling the Arkansas-Tennessee border – as part of a trade-off with The Coca-Cola Company, which earlier this year tied up the refranchising of all remaining company-owned territory in North America.
As part of that deal, Coke Consolidated relinquished bottling territory in a number of southeastern states – some of which was later picked up by Coca-Cola United.
Despite falling volumes and weakening sales affecting the Coca-Cola Company itself, the latest set of figures form part of a broader pattern growth among Coke’s largest bottling partners.
In their most recent full-year results, there was growth for both Coca-Cola European Partners and Coca-Cola HBC – between them nearly $3 billion stronger than the prior year – and Coca-Cola’s newly formed bottler in Japan made a strong debut, returning annual sales of $8.5 billion, which makes it the 46th largest food or beverage business in the world.
Coca-Cola Bottlers Japan was formed by the merger between Coke’s previous two partnersin the region, Coca-Cola East and Coca-Cola West.