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UK Coca-Cola bottler dealing with aluminium can shortage

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The Coca-Cola bottling business for the UK and Europe has said its supply chain has come under pressure from a “shortage of aluminium cans”.

It comes as social media users have highlighted a scarcity of Diet Coke and Coke Zero products in recent weeks.

Coca-Cola Europacific Partners (CCEP) told the PA news agency that it has faced “a number of logistics challenges” recently, including pressure on HGV driver numbers, but said it has continued to deliver “extremely high service levels”.

Nik Jhangiani, chief financial officer of CCEP, told PA: “Supply chain management has become the most important aspect following the pandemic, to ensure we have continuity for customers.

“We are very happy with how we have performed in the circumstances, with service levels higher than a lot of our market competitors.

“There are still logistical challenges and issues though, as with every sector, and the shortage of aluminium cans is a key one for us now, but we are working with customers to successfully manage this.”

Bottled drinks supplies across UK retail have also been particularly impacted by HGV driver shortages in recent weeks, with McDonalds unable to stock bottled soft drinks recently across some stores.

However, CCEP said it has seen a “limited” impact in this area after finding solutions to these logistics challenges.

His comments came as the company revealed that its pre-tax profits almost doubled to 520 million euros (£466.7 million) for the period to July 2.

Revenues jumped by 22.5% to 5.9 billion euros (£5.1 billion) for the period.

The group said it was buoyed by a recovery in out-of-home sales, as restaurants reopened to customers.

Chief executive Damian Gammell said: “Whilst we are reassured by the pace of recovery and are cautiously optimistic, our strong H1 performance and full-year guidance for 2021 demonstrate our confidence in the future of our business.

“We will go further together, creating greater, more sustainable value for all stakeholders.”

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