In the first quarter of 2012, despite very high prices of raw materials in the world markets, the results were improved over those of the last year. This was mostly possible with the cost optimisation programme implemented in 2011 and systematically implemented novelties, including, first of all, super thick Jupi syrups and the Semtex brand purchased in 2011. Our older products were selling well, such as Kofola, Hoop Cola or Vinea.
The increase in proceeds in the Czech market by over 16% is a good reason for optimism, because the result for the whole 2011 there was nearly 2% in decrease. We have also managed to increase dynamics of proceeds in Slovakia up to almost 11% and in Poland by over 7%. As we expected, low-alcohol beverages delivered to our clients in Russia at the end of 2011 resulted in the decrease in proceeds of the first quarter by 20% against the previous year, said Jannis Samaras, President and a majority stockholder of Kofola S.A.
The savings programme concerning costs of sale and administrative costs helped reduce these costs by PLN 7.5m in the first quarter of 2012 against the first quarter of 2011.
The net debt level continued at the level of the end of March 2011, even despite the investments made in 2011 (opening the hot bottling line and purchasing the Pinelli company which produces SEMTEX, the oldest power drink in the Czech Republic). Owing to the better results, the net debt to EBITDA at the end of March 2012 was only a multiple of 2.2 times.
In the first quarter, the Kofola Group introduced a number of novelties into the market, including the Rajec water for infants (with a very stable composition and low content of nitric ions), Jupik Aqua Sport, Hoop Cola in 0.25l cans, the Vinea beverage and Pickwick Ice Tea in 0.25l cans, a syrup in the economic segment under the Jarmark Polski brand, Kofola without sugar sweetened with stevia (natural sweetener without calories).