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Coca-Cola Enterprises' CEO Discusses Q1 2012 Results - Earnings Call Transcript

This morning’s prepared remarks will be made by John Brock, our CEO, and Will Douglas, our CFO. Hubert Patricot, President of our European Group is also with us on this call this morning. Following the prepared remarks, we will open the call for your questions. In order to give as many people as possible the opportunity to ask questions, please limit yourself to one question, and we will take follow-up questions as time permits.

Now, I will turn the call over to John Brock.

John Brock

Thank you, Thor and thanks to each of you for joining our conference call and webcast. As we discuss our results for the first quarter of 2012 and review our outlook for the remainder of this year. As you saw in our news release this morning we managed to achieve continued growth and made good progress toward our full-year financials goals in spite of a challenging operating environment.

Comparable earnings per diluted common share totaled $0.36 up 9%. Revenue grew 5% and comparable operating income grew 6% both on a currency neutral basis. Net pricing per case increased 2.5%, while strong comparisons from the prior year and the impact of the excise tax increase in France were to limit volume, which declined a 0.5% including a modest decline in France.

Trademark Coca-Cola volume for the quarter grew 1% and the energy category grew more than 30%. Still beverages declined in a mid-single-digit range as we hurdled the impact of 2011 brand expansion as well as new products particularly in Great Britain.

While we’re never content with even the modest decline in volume, it is important to remember that the first quarter is our smallest. Looking forward we’re confident that our operating strategies, promotions, and marketplace execution leave us well positioned to achieve our targets for the full-year.

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