RUSSIA – Coca-Cola Hellenic (HBC), the world’s third-largest Coca-Cola anchor bottler in terms of volume, has launched a new local version of cola in Russia called Dobry Cola after stopping production and sales of Coca-Cola products following the mass exodus of Western companies earlier this year.

During the official launch of the production of Dobry cola, which has been a juice brand in Russia, Coca-Cola HBC noted it was exploring extending existing local brands through its Multon Partners business.

In a statement, Reuters reported that Coca-Cola HBC said Dobry Cola has no connection with Coca-Cola or the Coca-Cola Co. The Coca-Cola Co has a 23% stake in Coca-Cola HBC.

The Interfax news agency has quoted the founder of Russian fast-food chain Teremok, which serves traditional cuisine such as borscht and blinis, saying he had received notification from the company about ‘Dobry Cola,’ and was trying to sell it in his restaurants.

Local competitors to Coca-Cola have flooded the market since the company left Russia after the country invaded Ukraine, while Western brands face years of court battles fighting against knock-offs.

Coca-Cola HBC had been depleting its stock of Coca-Cola products since placing its last order for concentrate in March.

Coca-Cola HBC posts strong performance in H1 results

Meanwhile, the company’s organic revenue and volume had a rise of 25.2%, and 12.1%, respectively in the 2022 half-year results for the six months ended 1 July 2022, excluding Russia and Ukraine.

Coca-Cola HBC noted its organic revenue per case of 14.0% benefited from pricing and targeted actions to improve the mix, further supported by out-of-home channel recovery.

Its broad-based volume momentum is said to continue outside of Russia and Ukraine, with growth led by strategic priorities such as continued investment to drive profitable growth.

The strategic investment the company has made includes consistent investment behind the adult sparkling proposition driving continued strong performance, with volumes +18.7%, and the acquisition of craft adult sparkling business, Three Cents, expected to strengthen its premium brand offering.

The Swiss giant revealed that strategic priorities also have rapid digitization of the enterprise, where its proprietary B2B, Customer Portal now has more than 200,000 customers, and deployment of key revenue growth and route to market capabilities in Egypt.

The coffee volumes were 56% up after receiving an accelerating contribution from out-of-home

Zoran Bogdanovic, CEO of Coca‑Cola HBC, stated: “We delivered a strong performance in the first half as we continued to execute our growth strategy with focus and discipline, including making progress on our sustainability commitments.

The quality of our 24/7 brand portfolio, revenue growth management capabilities, and execution excellence allowed us to take full advantage of post-pandemic recovery across our markets and to continue to gain significant share.

Pricing, mix, and cost efficiencies helped to mitigate input cost increases, underpinning the successful conversion of revenue growth into profits and cash flow.

Using this strong performance outlook, the company has reinstated its guidance for 2022 and expects to generate comparable EBIT in the range of €740-820 million(US$ 736-816M).

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