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Coca-Cola burned by coffee and tea sales decline in 2020

US Beverage giant reports 11% fall in 2020 full-year revenues as Covid-19 restrictions continue to disrupt soft drink and hot beverage sales at bars, restaurants and Costa Coffee stores

Despite severe Covid-19 disruption, Costa Coffee still managed to open net 56 stores in the UK during 2020, retaining a 29% share of the UK’s total branded coffee chain market | Photo Credit: Costa Coffee



In its full-year results to 31 December 2020, Coca-Cola reported a 5% net revenues decline to $8.6bn during the final quarter and an 11% decline for the year to $33bn.
 
Coca-Cola’s Global Ventures Group (GVC), which manages the Costa Coffee brand, reported an operating loss of $9m in the final quarter, down from operating income of $118m in 2019, and a full-year loss of $123m, down from income of $334m the year previous.
 
Coca-Cola said tea and coffee revenues declined 15% during the quarter and 17% over the year. The Atlanta-based beverage group added revenue declines were ‘primarily driven by coronavirus-related pressure on Costa Coffee retail stores, partially offset by strong performance in Costa Express machines in the United Kingdom’.
 
"The progress we made in 2020, including the actions taken to accelerate the transformation of our company, gives us confidence in returning to growth in the year ahead. While near-term uncertainty remains, we are well-positioned to emerge stronger from the crisis, driven by our purpose and our beverages for life ambition,” said Coca-Cola CEO James Quincey.
 
Coca-Cola purchased Costa Coffee from UK-based Whitbread for £3.9bn ($5.4bn) in late 2019 in order to grow its presence in the global coffee market – an area the US beverage giant had been curiously absent.
 
Costa Coffee operates coffee shops in 32 countries, but the majority of its 4,000 store global portfolio is located in its native UK market, where it operates nearly 2,700 coffee shops. World Coffee Portal data shows that despite severe Covid-19 disruption, Costa Coffee still managed to open net 56 stores in the UK during 2020, retaining a 29% share of the UK’s total branded coffee chain market.
 
The UK market leader has sought to diversify sales in the wake of government-mandated temporary store closures, ramping up click & collect, third party delivery, drive-thru and its retail packaged coffee offer.
 
Costa Coffee’s Express machine business has also proved resilient during the pandemic, with the coffee chain acquiring US automated coffee business Briggo, in October 2020, and expanding its Romanian self-serve presence through a partnership with petrol station operator, Auchan, in February 2021.

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