Bottler Coca Cola HBC's April sales lose fizz as lockdowns weigh

FILE PHOTO: Coca Cola plastic bottles or seen on the production line of the Coca Cola factory in Nairobi, Kenya, June 7, 2018. Picture taken June 7, 2018. REUTERS/Baz Ratner

(Reuters) - Soft drinks bottler Coca Cola HBC AG CCH.L on Thursday said sales in April fell by more than a third as fast-food chains, theatres and other public arenas stayed shut to limit the spread of the new coronavirus during stay-at-home orders.

The company, a bottler for U.S.-based beverage firm Coca-Cola KO.N, said net sales revenue for April slumped 37.2% on a constant currency basis, with first-quarter sales slipping 1.2% to 1.41 billion euros ($1.52 billion). (

“After a strong start to 2020, March and especially April have been more difficult ... The strong performance in January and February ensured that we entered this crisis from a position of real strength,” Chief Executive Officer Zoran Bogdanovi said.

Reporting by Pushkala Aripaka in Bengaluru; Editing by Bernard Orr