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Coca-Cola Enterprises (CCE) John Franklin Brock on Q1 2016 Results - Earnings Call Transcript

Q1 2016 Earnings Call

April 28, 2016 10:00 am ET

Executives

Thor Erickson - Vice President-Investor Relations

John Franklin Brock - Chairman & Chief Executive Officer

Manik H. Jhangiani - Chief Financial Officer & Senior Vice President

Damian Paul Gammell - Chief Operating Officer

Analysts

John A. Faucher - JPMorgan Securities LLC

Kevin Grundy - Jefferies LLC

Judy E. Hong - Goldman Sachs & Co.

Bonnie L. Herzog - Wells Fargo Securities LLC

Ali Dibadj - Sanford C. Bernstein & Co. LLC

Mark Swartzberg - Stifel, Nicolaus & Co., Inc.

Caroline Levy - CLSA Americas LLC

Brendan James Metrano - Evercore Group LLC

Chris J. MacDonald - Redburn (Europe) Ltd.

Brett Cooper - Consumer Edge Research LLC

Bryan D. Spillane - Bank of America Merrill Lynch

Pablo Zuanic - Susquehanna Financial Group LLLP

Operator

Good day and welcome to the Coca-Cola Enterprises' First Quarter 2016 Conference Call. At the request of Coca-Cola Enterprises, this conference is being recorded for instant replay purposes.

At this time, I'd like to turn the conference over to Mr. Thor Erickson, Vice President of Investor Relations. Please go ahead, sir.

Thor Erickson - Vice President-Investor Relations

Thank you. And thanks to everyone for being on our call today. We appreciate your interest and for joining us to discuss our first quarter 2016 results and our outlook for 2016.

Before we begin, I'd like to remind you of our cautionary statements. This call will contain forward-looking management comments and other statements reflecting our outlook for future periods.

These comments should be considered in conjunction with the cautionary language contained in this morning's release, as well as the detailed cautionary statements found in our most recent Annual Report on Form 10-K and subsequent SEC filings. A copy of this information is available on our website at www.cokecce.com.

Additionally, it is important to highlight that statements made about Coca-Cola European Partners or CCEP and the proposed merger on today's call are made with full recognition that this is subject to regulatory approvals and other conditions of closing and that until closing of the transaction, we're operating our businesses separately and independently.

Today's remarks will be made by John Brock, our CEO; and Nik Jhangiani, our CFO. Damian Gammell, our COO is also with us on the call today. Following prepared remarks, we will open the call for your questions. In order to give as many people as possible the opportunity to ask questions, please limit yourself to one question and we will take follow-up questions as time permits.

Now, I'll turn the call over to John Brock.

John Franklin Brock - Chairman & Chief Executive Officer

Thank you, Thor, and thanks to each of you for joining us as we review our first quarter results and our outlook for the year. Looking at our results for the first quarter, comparable diluted earnings per share totaled $0.41 with currency reducing these results by approximately $0.02. Currency neutral net sales declined 3.5% and comparable currency neutral operating income increased 1.5%.

Our volume decline of 4% includes the drop of 5% in Great Britain and a 3.5% decline for Continental Europe. These results reflect the impact of a soft consumer environment as well as temporary supply chain challenges in Great Britain. Nik will provide more color on this in a few minutes.

In addition, there was one less selling day versus the same quarter a year ago. While our first quarter performance was a slow start to the year, this quarter is our smallest. Based on our outlook for the remainder of the year, we have affirmed our 2016 guidance. Nik, again, will share more on our outlook shortly.

As you recall, we signed an agreement last August with Coca-Cola Iberian Partners and the Coca-Cola Company to merge CCE with the bottlers in Spain, Portugal, and Germany. Since then we've secured European Union Commission approval. Our proxy statement prospectus on Form F4 has been filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission and has been declared effective and a vote by CCE shareowners is now scheduled for May 24th. The transaction remains on track to close by the end of the second quarter this year.