Coca-Cola European Partners sees FY18 low single-digit revenue growth
For 2018, CCEP expects revenue growth in a low single-digit range, with both operating profit and earnings per share growth of between 6% and 7% Each of these growth figures is on a comparable and fx-neutral basis when compared to 2017 comparable results. This revenue growth guidance excludes the accounting impact of incremental soft drinks industry taxes. These taxes are expected to add approximately 2% to 3% to revenue growth and approximately 4% to cost of goods growth. At recent rates, currency translation would have a negligible impact on 2018 full-year diluted earnings per share. CCEP expects 2018 free cash flow in the range of EUR$850M to EUR$900M including the expected benefit from improved working capital offset by the impact of restructuring and integration costs. Capital expenditures are expected to be approximately EUR$525M to EUR$575M, including approximately EUR$75M of capital expenditures related to synergies. Weighted-average cost of debt is expected to be approximately 2% The comparable effective tax rate for 2018 is expected to be approximately 25% CCEP remains on track to achieve pre-tax run-rate savings of EUR$315M to EUR$340M through synergies by mid-2019. Further, CCEP expects to have realised approximately 75% of the target by year-end 2018. Restructuring cash costs to achieve these synergies are expected to be approximately 2 1/4 times expected savings and includes cash costs associated with pre-transaction close accruals. Given these factors, currency exchange rates, and our outlook for 2018, CCEP expects year-end net debt to adjusted EBITDA for 2018 to be towards the low-end of our target range of 2.5 to 3 times. As a result, during 2018, CCEP expects to continue to evaluate returning incremental cash to shareholders.