Coca-Cola Enterprises' CEO Presents At Consumer Analyst Group Of Europe Conference (Transcript)

Coca-Cola Enterprises Inc. (CCE)

Consumer Analyst Group of Europe Conference

March 21, 2012 11:15 a.m. ET


John F. Brock – Chairman & Chief Executive Officer

William W. Douglas III – Executive Vice President & Chief Financial Officer


John F. Brock

Thank you, very much Ian and good afternoon everyone. I am pleased to be here today to tell you little bit about an overview of Coca-Cola Enterprises including our goals and objectives as well as to answer some questions.

As you just heard, joining me today are Bill and Thor. Bill will also talk about some of our financial highlights in a few minutes. Before we begin, I would like to remind you that today’s event will contain forward-looking comments that I’d ask you to consider in conjunction with the cautionary language in our most recent Annual Report on Form 10-K and the subsequent SEC filings and a copy is available on our website.

As you know, in October 2010, we completed a transaction with the Coca-Cola Company and it literally transformed Coca-Cola Enterprises into the company that we are today. We sold our North American operations and at the same time we acquired the Coca-Cola Company’s bottling operations in Norway and Sweden. This created a new CCE that today is the preeminent Western European Coca-Cola bottler and one of Coke’s largest bottling partners.

In the process, we unlocked significant shareholder value. We have established a company that is truly focused on driving growth and creating value. We will discuss how we will continue to accomplish these goals and how we will do so in a way that’s both most socially and environmentally responsible.

As we discuss the elements of our business, from building on our beverage portfolio to improving customer service and our overall business model, we are confident that you will see that we are focused on being successful in the marketplace in creating shareowner value.

So what does CCE look like today? We’re a company with 2011 revenue of $8.3 billion, annual volume of about 620 million physical cases, we serve some 170 million consumers who consume more than 30 billion servings of our products each year. And this is a total importantly that’s been reached through six consecutive years of growth.

We manufacture our products at 17 locations and they are each a component of our Pan-European supply chain. We have a total workforce of more than 13,000, including one of the largest sales forces of any consumer products goods companies in our territories.

But most importantly, CCE has proven that we have the size, the scope, the plans and the people to continue to be an effective competitor in an attractive category, and that is despite having to navigate a challenging macroeconomic environment.

As you’re going to see in a few minutes, our European territories have a proven track record of solid operating performance and continued growth. In 2011, revenue growth was 5.5%, operating income growth was 9%, both of those on a comparable and currency neutral basis.

And in addition, we had another really solid year in volume growth, which was up 3.5%.

These were positive results. They are near the high end of our long-term growth targets, and they were achieved even as we continue to face ongoing macroeconomic challenges.

In fact, the results from our first full calendar year of operating exclusively as a European bottler reinforced the confidence that we have in the long-term potential of today’s Coca-Cola Enterprises. We have a solid balance sheet, strong free cash flow, and a clear focus on creating value for each stakeholder.

We are optimistic about our ability to create sustained growth that’s either in line with or above our long-term growth objectives. Now, have to say much of the reason for this optimism is our track record and the balanced nature of our business. For the past six years, we focused on creating value for customers, consumers and shareowners, and we’re committed to continuing this in the future. We have managed and executed through dynamic and often challenging times to drive sustained and balanced operating income growth.

Our results and our actions clearly demonstrate our commitment to increasing shareowner value. We continue to create value and return cash to shareowners through increased dividends. In fact we instituted a 23% increase earlier this year.

In addition, we’ve already completed a $1 billion share repurchase program, which started in late 2010. And then in January we began a second $1 billion share repurchase program for the stated goal of at least $500 million in purchases by the end of this year.

These initiatives are made possible by our continuing strong cash flow, which we expect to be somewhere between $500 million and $525 million this year. Clearly, our primary focus is to drive sustainable, value building growth.

Now let’s discuss the strategies and the initiatives that are the heart of this growth. For more than five years our work has been guided by a global operating framework, which has created a clear vision, clear strategic priorities and very clear financial objectives.

Our plans and our actions are guided by three straightforward priorities. First, to be the number one or number two in every category in which we choose to compete. Second, to be our customers’ most valued supplier, third, to create a winning, inclusive culture that attracts, develops and retains a highly talented and diverse workforce.

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