coca cola


Coca-Cola HBC (CCH) fizzed to the top of the FTSE 100 on Thursday morning after reporting a bullish first-half performance. Shares in the Hellenic Coke bottler soared more than 9% as markets opened before settling back down to 7.4% higher at 2,557p by Thursday lunchtime - putting the business on course to record its best day since May 2013. CCH said strong volume growth, price increases and improved packaging mix fuelled “excellent” results.

Revenues in the six months to 30 June increased 5.6% to €3.2bn (£2.9bn) on a 1.4% jump in volumes, accelerating in the second quarter thanks to the late Easter and good weather. Net profits rose 37% to €191.6m (£172.7m) and underlying operating profits were up 26.8% to €291.1m (£264m).

Analysts at Credit Suisse said it was “another solid operating performance” as the soft drinks bottling company beat market expectations on volumes, revenues and margins. JP Morgan Cazenove added: “We see room for significant further cost optimisation, particularly in the key emerging markets of Russia and Nigeria.”

Investors were also impressed by interims at the Irish Kerry Group on Thursday as the stock steadily climbed 4.2% to €77.70 after first-half sales rose by 4.8% to €3.2bn (£2.9bn) on volume growth in both the taste and nutrition division and consumer food arm. Revenues were helped by higher prices but the weak pound held back further growth, with sales at the consumer food arm down 2.8% to €677m (£610.3m).

Liberum said: “Kerry’s strong ingredients platform allows the group to take market share, improve mix and enhance margins.”

European Spirits producer Stock Spirits Group soared almost 6% to 166.8p on Wednesday after it revealed its turnaround efforts had started bearing fruit. Revenues increased 3.3% to €116m (£104.8m) in the six months to 30 June 2017, with operating profits up 32% to €16.5m (£14.9m). Shares jumped another 8% to 180p on Thursday, to take it up 12% for the week.