Coca-Cola HBC AG (LON:CCH) withdrew its financial guidance due to the coronavirus pandemic but the soft drinks bottler said it still planned to pay a dividend in the summer.
While its factories and supply chain are still operating, and boasting “adequate liquidity for working capital and investment needs”, the FTSE 100 group confirmed that, as it said last month, it still intends to pay an ordinary dividend of €0.62.
While net debt stood at €1.8bn at the end of 2019, the Zug, Switzerland-headquartered company said none of its debt facilities are subject to any financial covenants that would impact its liquidity or access to capital.
To bring the public the essential fizzy drinks and Serbian biscuits it needs during the coronavirus lockdown, staff of the bottling company have been making “extraordinary efforts” to ensure business continuity and continued product supply, it said, with stricter sanitation protocols, social distancing, travel restrictions and some working from home.
Demand in markets with heavy social distancing restrictions, such as Italy, central and southern Europe, has been “severely affected” in the non-supermarket segment that makes up 35-40% of sales.
While the supply chain remains operational, the group also acknowledged that it is likely to face disruption as governments step up efforts to control the spread of coronavirus.
Cost cutting measures are being examined but as the full impact of the pandemic is far from being known, management said they could not provide guidance for the current financial year.