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Coca-Cola full year results hurt by refranchising costs, tax charge

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Leading beverage maker Coca-Cola said that full year net revenues for 2017 declined 15% to $35.4bn and by 20% in the fourth quarter alone to $7.5bn from $9.4bn in the previous year. The soda giant blamed the revenue decline on “structural headwinds” related to costs associated with the ongoing refranchising of its North American bottling operations which is now complete. Additionally, the company noted that while the recent U.S. tax cut will help it compete globally on an equal footing by facilitating the free flow of capital, it had to take a one-time net charge of $3.6bn in the fourth quarter resulting in a net loss of $2.7bn for the quarter and 81% net profit decline to $1.2bn for the full year. Coke said it achieved major milestones in strengthening its business and returning to a capi

Dolait Yoghurt formally unveiled to the Nigerian market

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Dolait Yoghurt, a brand well known to citizens of neigbouring West African countries such as Cameroun, Benin Republic and others has formally been introduced to the Nigerian market. The General Manager of Sotibe Nigeria Limited, the company behind Dolait, Mr. Monah Chalabi said, that the brand is a natural and heathy yoghurt drink which had consistently served other African countries for years without compromising quality. “Dolait Yoghurt has been the favorite of Camerounians and some other African countries for 16 years, giving the yarning populace a healthy product with nutritional values. Our organization also has a factory in Cotonou, Benin Republic that serves both the Benin Republic community and the Nigeria market.” Mr. Chalabi noted that “Dolait yoghurt has existed in Nigeria since

Coca-Cola HBC full year results lifted by volume growth in developing, emerging markets

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Coca-Cola HBC, the parent company of the Nigerian Bottling Company (NBC) reported its full year results for 2017 on Wednesday, with the soft drinks giant posting a 24% increase in profit to €426 million. Revenue grew 4.9% in the period to €6.5bn from €6.2bn in 2016. The company which is the Coca-Cola anchor bottler in 28 mostly European countries and Nigeria said that volumes grew 2.2% across its geographic segments with the strongest growth coming from developing markets, where it saw a 2.8% volume growth, helped by strong performance in Poland, which was driven by Sparkling, Energy drinks and juice. Net sales in developing markets rose 7.2% in the year. Emerging market segments saw a 2.7% volume increase, driven by a strong performance in the Ukraine, Romania and Serbia, which offset dec

Nigerian Breweries records 16.3% profit rise at year end despite continued low consumer confidence, inflationary pressure

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Nigerian Breweries Plc, said on Thursday that net profit for the full year 2017 grew 16.3% to ₦33bn ($91.6m). Revenue in the same period rose 9.8% to ₦344.5bn ($957m) from ₦313.7bn in 2016. The company which is the Nigerian unit of Amsterdam-based Heineken NV said that despite improvement in the foreign exchange market, double-digit inflation continued to impact both businesses and consumers. However, it was able to deliver improved results through continuous focus and execution of its twin agenda of Cost Leadership and Market Leadership supported by Innovation. At the release of its full-year results a day earlier, Heineken NV, its parent company noted that consumer confidence in Nigeria remained low due to cost inflation and continued weak economic growth. Beer volume in the country decl

Europe’s flourishing gunmakers

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Beretta hits its sales targetIT WAS a blunder by Heckler & Koch, a big German gunmaker. On February 15th the firm apologised for a “mistake” after its American subsidiary posted a Valentine’s image showing a handgun surrounded by ammunition arranged in the shape of a heart. The image went out to social media shortly after a deadly school shooting in Florida.The post was also a reminder that although Europeans often criticise lax firearm-ownership laws across the Atlantic, the region’s firms are increasingly present in America’s market for small arms—defined as revolvers, pistols, rifles and shotguns. Americans buy far more such weapons than any other nationality and their appetites have been growing steadily. This year they are likely to buy 14.5m such firearms, notes Jurgen Brauer of Smal

Chinese cities are competing to woo overseas entrepreneurs

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The coffee’s on usWHEN Maria Veikhman, founder of SCORISTA, a Russian credit-scoring startup, was considering expansion abroad, China immediately came to mind. She believes the scope there is vast, for two-fifths of Chinese have no credit records. Ms Veikhman settled in Tianfu Software Park, a state-owned incubator in Chengdu, capital of Sichuan province where city authorities “offer almost everything for free”. Complementary facilities range from office space, basic furniture and logistics services to detailed guidance on entrepreneurial methods.Chengdu aims to catch up with Beijing, Shanghai, and Shenzhen, which at present are in a different entrepreneurial league—together they have over a hundred unicorns, or private startups worth over $1bn. The south-western city allocated 200m yuan (

A pharmaceutical firm bets big on a cancer drug

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WHEN Ken Frazier, chief executive of Merck, an American pharmaceutical giant, started his job in 2011, he had a hard decision to make. The firm had promising new drugs—such as Januvia, for diabetes, and Gardasil, a vaccine against cervical cancer. But the pharma industry was struggling with dismal returns on R&D and investors were questioning if companies were overspending on science. Some surrendered and started buying in drugs instead. But Mr Frazier opted to carry on backing his labs and promised publicly to spend on R&D for the long term, not for the stockmarket’s immediate gratification.An opportunity to implement the pledge soon arrived. Merck’s merger with another pharma firm, Schering-Plough, in 2009, had brought it an obscure new cancer drug. At first Merck’s scientists were unimp

One of Russia’s most successful private entrepreneurs sells–to the state

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IN THE Russian business community Sergei Galitsky served as a rare example of a self-made billionaire who rose with relatively little state help and outside the natural-resources trade. He built his retail company, Magnit, from scratch into Russia’s largest network; it has more than 16,000 stores. Rather than moving to Moscow, he kept his headquarters in his hometown of Krasnodar, where he also founded a football club. On February 16th he made a telling exit, announcing he would sell nearly all of his shares in Magnit—29.1%—to VTB, a state bank.That Mr Galitsky (pictured, above) decided to sell is the result of a tough business cycle and some strategic mistakes. More remarkable is that he found a buyer not on the domestic private markets, or from among foreign investors. Selling to a pubic

Protestantism might be good for the wallet, after all

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Spirit and fleshCAN religion make people wealthier? In 1905 Max Weber, a German sociologist, argued that it had happened in Europe. Protestants did not invent capitalism in the 16th century, he suggested. But, by discarding monastic asceticism and embracing the notion that diligence and self-improvement are pleasing to God, they became particularly good at it.Weber’s idea is unfashionable these days, partly because so many non-Protestant countries have become rich and partly because of a cause-and-effect problem. Were Protestants truly better at business, or were ambitious, business-minded people drawn to Protestantism? One way of settling that question is through a randomised controlled trial of religion. A National Bureau of Economic Research working paper released on February 19th repor