Kofola sold fewer products, by 3.8%, in the first quarter, but the gross margin increased by 6.9% up to EUR 16 million, the EBITDA indicator slightly lowered by 3%. The economic result of the Kofola Group was mostly influenced by the complicated situation on the Polish market in the first quarter and also by the fact that, despite the risk of slightly lower sales’ volume, the Company has focussed on profit increases. The growing sales in Slovakia mean a very positive signal as well as the higher revenue, by 59%, from the sales of healthy fruit and vegetable juices UGO in the Czech market. In the first quarter, the Slovenian brand Radenska became an inseparable part of the Kofola Group. That has opened the perspective markets in the Balkans to Kofola.
“We focus now mostly on the Company profitability in a long run. That means also some slight decreases in our economic indicators in the short term,” said Jannis Samaras, the General Director of the Kofola Group. He also explained the Company attitude to profits: “The profitability is a key factor for us basically because we wish to offer innovation and more healthy beverages to our customers.”
The long lasting complicated situation on the Polish market significantly influenced the economic result in the first quarter. In contrast, sales of beverages in Slovakia meant excellent news for Kofola and the Company has reported also higher revenues from sales of fresh fruit and vegetable juices UGO in the Czech Republic.
Kofola had already bet on healthy beverages several years ago and today it has become the biggest operator of bars offering fresh juices in Central Europe. It now serves 54 bars and salad outlets. The brand UGO has started supplying its fruit and vegetable juices, treated by pascalisation, in the last year not only to large Hotels, but also to food chains like, for example, Globus. They offer also one litre packs.
Beside the stress put on innovation within the beverage portfolio, the Kofola Group reported the finalisation of acquisition of the Slovenian mineral water brand Radenska in the last quarter. Radenska has become a fixed part of the Kofola Group. Marian Šefčovič has become its General Director. He was successful in the position of Commercial Director of the Kofola Group for several years. Roman Zúrik, who had managed the Supply Chain Section until the appointment, has been appointed to that position.