Refresco, the European soft drinks and fruit juices group, has reported a 4.5% rise in 2016 revenue to €2.107 billion as volume increased by 6% to 6.46 billion litres and adjusted EBITDA advanced 2.7% to €222 million and adjusted net profit by 11.1% to €86 million.
On a like-for-like basis total volume decreased by 2.1%. Volume growth in the Benelux was mainly driven by the acquisition of DIS, significant volume increase in the UK related to the new carbonated soft drinks line which started production this year and in Germany and Poland the effect of the discontinued low margin-large volume private label contracts continued.
In the full year, Co-Packing volume amounted to 1.731 billion litres, an increase of 49.0% compared to 2015. On a like-for-like basis, Co-Packing reported in 2016 high single digit volume growth of 8.3%. As a percentage of total volume, Co-Packing increased from 19.1% in 2015 to 26.8% in 2016, which is in line with Refresco’s strategic focus of growing Co-Packing volume faster than Private Label. In the full year, Private Label volume decreased 4.1% to 4.732 billion litres.
Hans Roelofs, chief executive of Refresco, comments: “Looking back on the 2016 results and our strategic objectives, we are pleased to report good progress. Our strategy to grow rapidly the Co-Packing business is contributing very positively to volume development. With many branded players looking for international partners like Refresco, we expect this part of our business to continue to grow at a rapid pace.”
He elaborates: “We made strong progress on our buy & build strategy, strengthening our position in Europe with the acquisition of DIS. A major highlight of the year was undoubtedly the acquisition of Whitlock Packaging with which we took our first step into the US market. Integration of this business is now underway and proceeding smoothly. Buy & build remains an important focus for us and we see ample opportunities for consolidation – in Europe and the US – going forward.”
For the full year total capital expenditure spending was €88 million – up from €81 million in 2015. Capex was invested in the installation of six new production lines and in the optimization of the existing manufacturing sites and warehousing facilities.
Hans Roelofs adds: “In our operations we continued to invest in new bottling lines and warehousing facilities across the business, expanding further our capabilities especially in Aseptic PET. The expansion of our customer offering is an important driver of organic growth, which remains our top priority.”