Coca-Cola Amatil Withdraws Dividend Guidance, Volume Fell Ahead of Easter
By Mike Cherney
SYDNEY--Australian bottler Coca-Cola Amatil Ltd. said Friday
that it is withdrawing dividend guidance and that volumes fell in
the first two weeks of April due to coronavirus lockdowns.
Amatil is temporarily withdrawing its dividend payout ratio
guidance to give it more flexibility to address future economic
challenges arising from the lockdowns. Amatil will decide on its
2020 dividend at its first-half result later in the year, it
The withdrawal comes as overall volumes fell 30% in the first
two weeks of April, the start of the company's second quarter and
typically a key trading period in the lead up to Easter and
Ramadan. Indonesia volumes fell 50% and Australia volumes fell 15%,
as consumers stayed home due to lockdowns.
In the first quarter, volume grew by a low single-digit
percentage, Amatil said. But earnings before interest and tax fell
by the mid teens. In March, the start of the coronavirus impact,
Amatil said volume was up in the mid single digits as consumers
stockpiled supplies, but earnings fell by the low single
Earlier this month, Amatil completed a bond offering for 200.0
million Australian dollars (US$126.5 million) to help it navigate
the uncertain economic outlook. It is also targeting A$140 million
in cost savings and a A$100 million reduction in capital
"The Covid-19 impacts are continuing to evolve with the
situation fluid across all of our markets," Managing Director
Alison Watkins said. "We are experiencing large volatility in
volumes across markets and channels making it premature to draw any
conclusions about the trading impact of the pandemic at this stage.
We will have a clearer view at our annual general meeting in
Write to Mike Cherney at firstname.lastname@example.org
(END) Dow Jones Newswires
April 16, 2020 20:29 ET (00:29 GMT)
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