Coca-Cola investing $63 million to expand output

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© Provided by PhilStar Global Coca-Cola investing $63 million to expand output

MANILA, Philippines — Coca-Cola Beverages Philippines Inc. (CCBPI) is investing at least $63 million to expand its production capacity mainly in Luzon this year.

CCBPI president and chief executive officer Gareth McGeown said in an online briefing yesterday the firm has set aside an initial $63 million investment for this year to increase capacity, particularly in Luzon after focusing in Mindanao last year.

“For 2021, we are going to invest in more production capacity primarily in Sta.Rosa [in Laguna]. On top of that, we will also be investing in some of our logistic sites, around some of our environmental friendly trucks,” he said.

He said the firm would also be investing in glass bottles, with 56 percent of the business accounted for by beverage in returnable glass.

CCBPI will be spending the initial tranche of investment until the third quarter of the year, and should the business continue to progress, the firm would pour in more funds to further build production capacity.

“The plan is, and the thinking we have is, as we continue to see the market come back and we’re optimistic… about the Philippines’ recovery, that we’ll continue to invest,” he said.

He said the firm has been investing since last year as it remains optimistic on business prospects in the long term.

“We think the economy will recover. The consumption is there. The middle class is growing. That’s kind of our belief in the future of the Philippine consumer,” he said.

Tony del Rosario, Coca-Cola Philippines president and vice president of franchise operations for Coca-Cola Far East Region, said the firm wants to see sales this year go back to the pre-pandemic level in 2019.

In line with the global thrust of Coca-Cola toward the rationalization of its product portfolio, the firm is reinforcing the local market presence not only of core brands like Coke and Sprite, but also of other emerging categories like Wilkins water and Nutriboost dairy milk drink.

CCBPI also continues work on its P2.3-billion state-of-the-art bottle recycling facility with green solutions company Indorama Ventures being built in General Trias, Cavite.

The project is set to be completed by the fourth quarter of 2021.

Last January, CCBPI inaugurated new distribution hubs in the cities of Manila and Malabon, as well as its most advanced returnable glass bottle manufacturing line in its Davao del Sur plant.