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Coca-Cola sets $63-million upgrade of Philippine factories
Like other companies, Coca-Cola was also hurt by disruptive lockdowns that paralyzed the economy.
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Coca-Cola sets $63-million upgrade of Philippine factories

Ian Nicolas Cigaral (Philstar.com) - February 23, 2021 - 6:15pm

MANILA, Philippines — Coca-Cola Beverages Philippines Inc. is investing $63 million in the country this year in a bid to increase the capacity of its factories.

The amount, which is equivalent to P3.06 billion, represents the first tranche of investment by the local bottling partner of beverage giant Coca-Cola, Gareth McGeown, president and chief executive, told reporters during a virtual roundtable discussion on Tuesday.

The new investments would be spread "between now until third quarter" of the year. Should business continue to progress, McGeown said Coca-Cola Philippines would request more funds from its parent firm to invest.

Broken down, the fresh capital would be used to beef up production capacity of Coca-Cola factories in Luzon, primarily in Sta. Rosa, Laguna, around 1.5 hours south of the capital. The company will also buy more enviroment-friendly trucks to enhance logistics.

"Our peg is that in 2021 we're back to pre-pandemic level. It is a difficult target but we're cautiously optimistic that we'll be able to do it," McGeown said, without citing figures.

Like other companies, Coca-Cola was also hurt by virus movement restrictions that paralyzed the economy. To stay afloat, McGeown said the beverage brand spent "over $90 million" last year and set aside P2 billion to retain its 10,000 employees in the Philippines and keep them paid at the height of lockdowns.

While other firms were laying off workers, McGeown said Coca-Cola hired more workers last year in anticipation of recovery this year. "We tend to try to create new roles 6 months ahead of investment so we can train our people to use the best technology we can get," he said.

"We're ahead of the curve when it comes to investments so we can emerge from this crisis stronger," he added.

Moving forward, Coca-Cola said it plans to maintain its market leadership amid hard times by accelerating its digital transformation and "heavily investing in omnichannel opportunities". 

COCA-COLA BEVERAGES PHILIPPINES INC. NOVEL CORONAVIRUS
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