Coca-Cola Enterprises, Inc. reported first-quarter 2011 operating income of $164 million, or $173 million on a comparable basis. First-quarter 2011 diluted earnings per common share were 31 cents, or 33 cents on a comparable basis. Currency translation had a slightly positive impact on first quarter results. Items affecting comparability and other pro forma adjustments are detailed on page 9 of this release.
For the quarter, revenue totaled $1.84 billion, an increase of 7 percent from pro forma 2010 results, and up 5 percent on a currency neutral basis. Comparable operating income totaled $173 million, up 7.5 percent versus first-quarter 2010 pro forma results, and up 5.5 percent on a comparable and currency neutral basis.
“These results reflect solid progress toward our 2011 financial goals, goals that will meet or exceed our long-term financial targets,” said John F. Brock, chairman and chief executive officer in a prepared statement. “With the important summer selling season just ahead, we believe we have the right brand and operating plans in place to deliver against our growth objectives.”
Total volume in the first quarter grew 5 percent. Gross and operating margins were flat during the quarter as net pricing per case increased 1.5 percent, while cost of sales per case increased 1.5 percent.
Volume growth during the quarter was the result of excellent growth in sparkling brands, which grew 4 percent in the quarter, driven primarily by 3 percent growth in Coca-Cola trademark brands, with Coca-Cola Zero up 25 percent. Soft drink flavors and energy increased 6.5 percent, with solid growth in Fanta, Monster, Sprite, and Dr Pepper. Still beverage volume increased approximately 15 percent, primarily through the continued expansion of Capri Sun and the addition of Ocean Spray. Abbey Well and Chaudfontaine waters also provided growth.
Volume in continental Europe territories increased 4.5 percent. A majority of this increase reflects growth of 2 percent in Coca-Cola trademark brands. Still beverages increased almost 20 percent, including excellent volume growth for Capri Sun, Chaudfontaine water, Ocean Spray, and Powerade.
First-quarter volume in Great Britain, our largest territory, increased 6.5 percent, reflecting growth in our My Coke portfolio and sparkling flavor brands and stills. Coca-Cola Zero, Sprite, Fanta, Dr Pepper and energy all achieved solid growth.
“Outstanding day-to-day execution in our marketplaces is a key element of these volume results,” said Hubert Patricot, executive vice president and president, European Group. “We are providing solid field level support for strategic marketing initiatives to generate outstanding growth in both stills and sparkling brands, and enabling all territories to drive results while meeting the challenges of a difficult economic environment.
“With promotions and initiatives such as the celebration of Coca-Cola’s 125th anniversary, Coke with Food, and early Olympic activity, we are well positioned to maximize our presence during the key summer selling season.”