Belfast Telegraph

Coca-Cola in NI saw profits rise to £8m last year

Ryan McAleer

By Ryan McAleer

Pre-tax profits at Coca-Cola in Northern Ireland almost doubled to £8m last year, a new company report has shown.

However, the accounts of Coca-Cola HBC Northern Ireland Ltd show the Lisburn-based company significantly reduced its distribution staff by 55 during 2017.

The business, which has operated in Northern Ireland since 1939, is part of the 28-country Coca-Cola Hellenic Bottling Company.

Operating out of a manufacturing plant at Knockmore Hill in Lisburn, the company's administration is based in Dublin, producing, distributing, marketing and selling a wide range of soft drinks to an all-Ireland market.

Turnover surged by £12.5m last year to £189.2m for the 12 months to December 31, 2017, up from £176.6m in 2016. The result was a 93% rise in pre-tax profit from £4.2m to £8.1m over the same period. A total of £106.6m of the company's turnover in 2017 came from the UK, with £82.6m from the Republic.

However, the document made public in recent days reveals a substantial cut in staff from 499 to 434 over the year. Most of the 65 staff look to have been cut from the company's distribution wing. The production and administration workforce was also reduced by 14, although the sales and marketing staff rose from 137 to 141.

The cut in employees was reflected in a £3.5m saving on staff costs last year, which was reduced from £23.4m to £19.9m over the year.

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The pay to the company's directors rose from £380,000 to £560,000 last year, with the highest-paid director receiving £323,576, up from £219,810 in 2016.

Coca-Cola HBC NI's portfolio of almost 30 brands includes Deep RiverRock water, Fruice fruit juice, Powerade and carbonated soft drinks such as Coca-Cola, Diet Coke, Coke Zero and Fanta.

Belfast Telegraph