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UK hit by Diet Coke shortage due to aluminium can supply problems

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Despite the shortages, Coca-Cola Europacific Partners revealed that its pre-tax profits almost doubled to €520m (£447m) for the period to 2 July  (PA Archive)
Despite the shortages, Coca-Cola Europacific Partners revealed that its pre-tax profits almost doubled to €520m (£447m) for the period to 2 July (PA Archive)

Coca-Cola’ s UK business has said its supply chain has come under pressure because of 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 recently faced “a number of logistics challenges”, including reduced numbers of HGV drivers, but said it has continued to deliver “extremely high service levels”.

Nik Jhangiani, the 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 McDonald’s unable to stock bottled soft drinks across some stores.

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

Jhangiani’s comments came as the company revealed that its pre-tax profits almost doubled to €520m (£447m) for the period to 2 July.

Revenues jumped by 22.5% to €5.9bn for the period.

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

CCEP’s 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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