The Kofola Group performed well last year. Its gross margin increased by 18.2 % to PLN 364 million, operating profit (EBIT) increased even by one quarter and EBITDA rose by 11.4 %. The Kofola Group reached this positive result despite year-to-year decrease of sales by 3.2 %.
"Last year we focused mainly on increasing the margin. This resulted in a decline in sales by 3 %, but we managed to increase operating profit by a quarter," comments on last year Jannis Samaras, CEO of Kofola, and continues: "The Kofola Group's financial position is now very good, indebtness indicator even declined to just under 1.0 and financial potential allows the search for further acquisition opportunities. This year, the priorities are the same as last year. Healthy drinks market, expanding distribution activities and successful entry into the Balkan market after the completion of the acquisition of Slovenian brand Radenska."
The Kofola Group paid attention to healthier beverages very intensively. Following the acquisition of brands UGO and Mangaloo, Kofola has become the largest provider of fresh juice bars in Central Europe and now operates 53 bars and salateries. Last year, UGO brand began to deliver its fresh fruit and vegetable juices treated by the means of pascalisation not only to large hotel but also retail chains such as Globus and even new litre packs.
Besides innovations, Kofola was also active as a beverages distributor. Thanks to the November agreement with an Austrian family company Rauch on exclusive distribution of its drinks, the Group became a distributor with the most comprehensive portfolio of soft drinks in the Czech Republic and Slovakia.
Last year the Kofola Group also took a major step in expanding abroad. Before the end of the year Kofola announced that after long negotiations with the brewery Lasko that the Group signed a sales and purchase agreement (SPA) to acquire the Slovenian mineral water brand Radenska.
Being seen still more abroad and having its activities perceived positively was evidenced by the fact that according to the judging panel of the prestigious European Business Awards the Kofola brand became one of the top ten companies in Europe in its category last year.