Coca Cola suffers but PNG, Fiji shine

Coca Cola Amatil reported a 15 per cent decline in profits this year to A$182 million (US$158m)but the figure could have been worse if its outlets in Fiji and Papua New Guinea had not performed exceptionally. Its operations in Australia and New Zealand were challenging “across all channels” in the financial year just past, the CCA group managing director Alison Watkins told media in Melbourne last month.

“The decline was exacerbated by reduced promotional activity to the channel, a decline in sales headcount and reduction in call frequency during 2013-14, which resulted in below required service standards,” she noted. Of the multinational’s PNG operations, Coca Cola noticed “strong growth in volumes and earnings” in all sectors of trading during the year.

While neighbouring Indonesia was plagued by falling currency and a chronic competitive market, PNG managed to power away to high growth with a recent upsurge in investments in the resources sector in 2014. PNG delivered a volume growth of 22.2 per cent during the year. Earnings in Fiji for the country’s rum production and sales of imported Australian soft drink sector increased by 12 per cent during the same period while New Zealand experienced a poor, weather-affected start to the year and as such faced a downturn in trading.

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