In the first quarter, the Kofola Group was able to maintain turnover as well as EBITDA. The Group is well prepared for the rest of the year.

14.05. 2020

In spite of the current situation, the Kofola Group was able to maintain both key indicators at the same level as last year – there was only 0.1% decrease in revenues and the EBITDA is actually higher by 0.6%. The Group achieved this excellent result despite all complications caused by preventative measures against the spread of COVID-19 in all countries in which it operates, that have strongly affected the whole beverage industry. The management of the Group states that we are well prepared for the upcoming months, even if the economy picks up very slowly.

In the first quarter, the Kofola Group was able to maintain turnover as well as EBITDA. The Group is well prepared for the rest of the year.

 We have achieved good results in the first quarter thanks to several factors,“ says Jannis Samaras, General Director of the Kofola Group, describing the conditions, and continues: “The situation on the market was favourable for us with a strong growth at the beginning of the year. Moreover, the work we had done in Kofola in previous years has helped us too. Kofola has always built on strong local brands, loyal customers and devoted employees. In past years, we have also invested a lot of resources and energy into the diversification of our portfolio in order to better withstand fluctuations in individual market segments. In addition, all previous crises have taught us to listen carefully and react promptly to changes in customer behaviour“.

The Adriatic region grew strongly, as in previous quarters, with revenues up by 0.9%, partially compensating for the 0.8% lower revenues in the CzechoSlovak market. Successful brands in this period include the Jupí syrups, Semtex energy drink, the whole water portfolio of the Kofola Group – especially Rajec spring water in Czechia and Slovakia, and mineral waters Radenska and Studenac in the Adriatic region. It was also a good start for the Klaštorná Kalcia mineral water brand, which was introduced to Czech customers this year, after its success in Slovakia. Last but not least, the investment in herbal tea mixtures has paid off for the Group in the case of the LEROS brand, sales of which have grown encouragingly, especially in pharmacies.

Korunní and Ondrášovka mineral waters, which became a part of the Group portfolio in April 2020, did well, recording a double-digit sales growth in the first quarter of this year. Our next goal is to build on the potential of these traditional mineral waters and properly integrate them into the Group from the second quarter of this year.

On the other hand, there is some bad news from the HoReCa (hotels, restaurants and catering) segment, in which the Kofola Group has had a very strong position in recent years. As a result, a package for gastro facilities is currently being prepared to help give this most affected segment a fresh start after the easing of governmental measures. Kofola is also taking part in the initiative “Save the pub“ in the Czech and Slovak markets. Coronavirus restrictions had the biggest impact on the UGO brand, which operates 79 "Fresh" (fresh juice) and Salad bars, with the vast majority of them being completely closed for more than two months.

Regarding future expectations, Jannis Samaras says: “Of course we don´t know what the coming months are about to bring, but we believe we can cope well because we have done our best. Thanks to newly adopted saving measures, a strong year in 2019 and the successful beginning of this year, we have sufficient financial reserves. This means we are prepared not only for the critical second quarter but also for the possibility of a slow economic recovery. However, we believe the worst time is over and the coming months will allow everybody breathe more easily.“