Beverage giant steps up investments in PH

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    Although cautiously optimistic of this year’s prospects due to the pandemic, Coca-Cola Beverages Philippines Inc. (CCBPI), the local bottling partner of the beverage giant in the country, is making an initial $63 million (approximately P3.06 billion ) in the country this year mostly to increase its production capacity in its Laguna plant.

    Gareth McGeown, CCBPI president and chief executive officer, said in a press briefing this investment will be spent for the first three quarters of the year and will be augmented thereafter.

    This additional investment will be spent to increase production capacity and capability, upgrade existing sites, transition to environment-friendly vehicles as well as regulatory initiatives.

    These investments are on top of the $90 million spent in 2020 most of which went to Mindanao where CCBPI increased production by 30 percent.

    Tony del Rosario, vice president of franchise operations for Coca-Cola East region, said the Philippine market did better thanthe brand’s global network in terms of growth. Global sales were down 6 percent in 2020 and by 3 percent in the fourth quarter.

    Del Rosario said the company hopes to go back to pre-pandemic sales in 2021 but did not give figures.

    “The Philippines did quite well despite the challenges. We performed slightly better than global numbers because of the strength of iur distribution system,” Del Rosario said.

    CCBPI’s PETValue, a P2.3-billion multi-phased project with Indorama Ventures—is a state-of-the-art, bottle-to-bottle recycling facility in General Trias, Cavite will be completed bythe fourth quarter this year.