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Yesterday Coca-Cola made public its financial report for last year, which featured data for the first time on sales in Russia
On the whole, the company's sales in Russia rose by 18% in physical terms (the sales of the Coca-Cola brand increased by 19%). Only the Chinese market was a bigger success story of the corporation, as its sales there were up 22%. However, Coca-Cola has posted its highest growth rates in terms of sales in Russia in the past five to ten years (21%), whereas the average figure for China is 17-18%. Grant Winterton, the Coca-Cola Company's general manager for operations in Russia, Ukraine and Belarus, is satisfied with the results. He says the company's indices in the region have largely increased thanks to expansion into new segments like ice tea and energy drinks. "It is not surprising that Coca-Cola is posting such growth rates in Russia, because in comparison with Europe, the drink only appeared in Russia ten years ago," says Alexander Svinov, an analyst with Alfa-Bank. "The market's potential has not yet been fully exhausted," agrees Marat Ibragimov, an analyst with UralSib financial corporation. "The company's sales will continue to grow largely thanks to the regions." Coca-Cola intends to strengthen its positions in other markets as well. Prior to announcing the company's financial results, Coca-Cola CEO Neville Isdell told analysts about plans to make some acquisitions in Russia in the juice, drinking water and energy drink markets. If Coca-Cola acquires St. Petersburg's Multon company, it will control a quarter of the Russian juice market, which analysts believe is worth $600-650 million. The Biznes Analitika agency believes Coca-Cola has 36.2% of the market in large Russian cities in financial terms. Coca-Cola, whose global sales exceed $22 billion (analysts believe sales in Russia are worth over $700 million), owns 11 factories in Russia that produce carbonated water.
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