Coca Cola European Partners anticipate coronavirus could hurt 2020 earnings

Coca Cola European partners PLC (LON:CCEP) have told the market that they are anticipating that the coronavirus could hurt their earnings forecast for 2020.

The bottling subsidiary of Coca Cola said that they have already installed measures to limit the current outbreak of COVID-19, however the uncertainty with regards to the scale and time frame could change its’ guidance expectations and forecasts.

The firm commented: “Since the balance sheet date, we have seen significant macro-economic uncertainty as a result of the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak. The scale and duration of this development remains uncertain. CCEP is well positioned given its current financial position, stable cash generation and good access to liquidity and has mitigation plans in place, which it continues to adapt as the situation evolves. The situation could however impact our full year 2020 earnings and cash flow, and therefore by implication our full year 2020 guidance, on which we will update you in due course.”

Coca Cola also announced that the risks have been identified to all stakeholders in the firm, and the impact of the coronavirus will be fully assessed in due course.

Coca Cola European Partners see strong February update

In February, the multinational firm gave a confident update to shareholders. The drinks retailer and producer said that it expects single digit revenue growth in 2020, however performance in 2019 had been strong.

Coca Cola reported that revenue had rose 4.5% to €12.02 billion in 2019, compared to the 2018 figure of €11.52 billion. The multinational said that this reflected solid execution and innovation led growth which will please shareholders.

Notably, pretax profit also rose €1.45 billion from €1.21 billion, whilst operating profit also rose from €1.30 billion in 2018 to €1.55 billion.

On a sweet note for shareholders, Coca Cola also declared a full year dividend of €1.24 per share, which shows a 17% appreciation from last year.

Coca Cola across all business have looked to maintain its annualized dividend payout ratio of 50%.

Coca-Cola also announced that they will be commencing a 2020 share buyback program of up to €1 billion, as the firm concluded its update.

The drinks firm praised the strong performance in the British markets, as revenue grew by 2% in Coca-Cola Zero Sugar, Fanta & Monster drinks.

French revenue also jumped 4.5%, and European performance was steady with strong consistent performance in the Netherlands.

Shares in Coca Cola European Partners PLC trade at €37 (+1.01%). 16/3/20 13:12BST.

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