October 24, 2019 / 6:33 AM / 20 days ago

Coca-Cola European Partners reports slow start to fourth quarter

(Reuters) - Coca-Cola European Partners Plc CCEPC.L said on Thursday it had a slower-than-expected start to its fourth quarter due to weakening demand in France and Britain, as well as cold weather in October in most markets.

The world’s largest independent bottler of Coca-Cola (KO.N) drinks expects to report full-year diluted earnings per share growth of about 10%, compared with its prior forecast of between 10% and 11%.

The company forecast full-year revenue to grow about 3%, excluding the impact of soft drinks taxes of about 1%. It had previously expected the growth to be in a low single-digit range.

Coke European Partners, which sells and distributes drinks in 13 European countries, reported 3.28 billion euros ($3.65 billion) in revenue for the third quarter ended Sept. 27, compared to 3.29 billion euros a year earlier.

Separately, it also said it will take a 25% stake in Kol, an on-demand delivery service in Paris, and a 15% stake in self-driving technology company TeleRetail through its investment fund.

Another Coke bottler Coca Cola HBC AG’s (CCH.L) first-half operating profit missed analyst expectations in August, dragged down by higher costs and sluggish growth in its established markets, as well as an unseasonably cool start to the European summer.

Reporting by Tanishaa Nadkar in Bengaluru; Editing by Arun Koyyur and Shounak Dasgupta

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