Coca-Cola Enterprises (NYSE:CCE) on Friday reaffirmed its fiscal 2010 guidance and said it expects earnings next year to grow in the range of 10% to 12%, a reflection of the newly registered company’s continued growth.
The view, however, falls slightly below average analyst estimates polled by Thomson Reuters of 13% growth in earnings to $2.01 a share.
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Still, CCE chief executive John F. Brock said the business "continues to deliver strong results," expecting growth in 2011 and beyond, noting the company’s markets have “proven growth profiles” and “excellent potential for the short and long term.”
CCE has bottling operations in Belgium, France Great Britain, Luxembourg and the Netherlands, as well as operations in Norway and Sweden, which it recently acquired from The Coca-Cola Co. (NYSE:KO). CCE became the third-largest independent bottler after Coke purchased its North American operations in October.
The company’s operating expectations for 2010 and 2011 “meet or exceed” its long-term growth targets, with its 2011 earnings forecast ahead of its target, lifted by the share repurchase program.
The company has initiated a previously disclosed share repurchase plan and expects to buyback some $200 million of its shares by the end of this fiscal year, a part of its goal to repurchase some $1 billion by the end of fiscal 2012’s first quarter.
“Though we are a new company, we have a proven record of growth in Europe, and we intend to build on that record in the years ahead,” Brock said.
For the current fiscal year, the company sees earnings in the range of $1.74 to $1.78 a share on revenue of $7.4 billion.
So far this year the company has achieved earnings of $1.55 a share, on operating revenue of $4.92 billion.