Virus shutdown sinks Amatil sales

Coca Cola Amatil has reported that COVID-19 lockdown restrictions have severely impacted volumes across its major markets.

In a trading update on Tuesday, the company said that sales volumes declined by about 33 per cent in April compared with a year earlier, and that volumes are still down 26 per cent for the first three weeks of May, compared with a year ago.

Revenue since the start of April has broadly declined in line with volume, but the impact on its margins has been much greater, reflecting shifts in channel and portfolio mix. 

“April was a challenging trading month for the group, with the full brunt of the COVID-19 restrictions felt across all of Amatil’s markets throughout the peak Easter and Ramadan trading periods,” Group managing director Alison Watkins said in a statement.

“With many customers remaining closed or operating at significantly reduced capacity, there has been unprecedented disruption to trade.” 

Last month the company revealed plans to cut costs by $140 million to partially offsetting the impact of weaker trading.

Looking ahead, Watkins said it is encouraging to see lockdown restrictions gradually being eased and “some green shoots of improvement in trading conditions emerge” but said that economic recovery “will take time and uncertainty remains”.

“We have a clear path forward to weather the current conditions, noting that the fourth quarter trading conditions will be imperative to our FY2020 financial performance,” Watkins said.

She said the company will have a clearer view to share with the market at the 2020 half year results in August.

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