Developing markets

We operate in the following developing markets: Croatia, the Czech Republic, Estonia, Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, Slovakia and Slovenia.

While developing markets have market-oriented economies, they generally have lower disposable income per capita than our established markets. In addition, these countries can be exposed to periods of economic volatility. Entry to the European Union has resulted in increased political stability, as countries increasingly conform to the EU’s principles, objectives and regulations.  


  • 76m population in our developing markets
  • 9 countries
  • 19% sales volume from developing markets in 2019

The years before 2008 saw positive macroeconomic conditions in these markets, with real GDP growth. The subsequent global financial and credit crisis led to the dramatic decline of economic growth rates. Such periods of high economic volatility and currency fluctuations can and do have an all too real impact on our net sales revenue, a reality for which we prepare.

These countries also typically exhibit lower net sales revenue per unit than more established economies. In the early 1990s, The Coca‑Cola Company began distributing its products across these areas and soon became an established brand. Many consumers, and especially consumers in developing countries, tend to prefer brand products as their drinks of choice, rather than tap water and/or homemade drinks. Consumers in these markets also tend to prefer branded water and juices for wellbeing and fitness.

We’ve learned many lessons in our years of serving consumers in developing markets. The main one is that the non-alcoholic ready-to-consume drink market remains fragmented, with no single market player claiming a leading share in more than one market category. Consumers in these markets are typically more often concerned about prices, more so than in established markets. As a result, Coca‑Cola HBC products often find their competition in local non-premium brands.

Developing markets volume breakdown (2019)

  • 44% - Poland
  • 22% - Hungary
  • 13% - Czech Republic
  • 8% - Baltics
  • 6% - Croatia
  • 5% - Slovakia
  • 2% - Slovenia

Our approach in developing markets

Our strategic plan for developing markets lies in our commitment to providing only the best product at the highest market value. We are not going to chase volume that is not conducive to immediate or long-term profitability.  

We will execute our strategy by focusing on OBPPC (Occasion, Brand, Package, Price and Channel) implementation, operational efficiency and tight cost control. We are innovative and dedicated, showing communities around the world that a partnership with Coca‑Cola can add value to any customer relationship.

We see amazing growth opportunities for all of our drink products and we are committed to maximising opportunities. We plan to add exciting, new products, flavours and packaging in both future and immediate consumption channels. The foundation of this plan lies in supporting route-to-market systems and increasing the availability of coolers and other cold drink equipment. Such a strategy will also enable us to develop our presence in emerging markets. 


  2019 2018 % change
Volume (million unit cases) 431.1 429.0 0.5
Net sales revenue (€ million) 1,352.1 1,306.9 3.5
Operating profit (EBIT) (€ million) 139.0 130.7 6.4
Comparable EBIT (€ million) 146.4 137.0 6.9
Total taxes1 (€ million) N/A 65 N/A
Population (million) 76 76.0 -
GDP per capita (US$) 17,430 17,529 -0.6
Bottling plants (number) N/A 8 N/A
Employees (number) N/A 4,721 N/A
Water footprint (billion litres) N/A 3.1 N/A
Carbon emissions (tonnes) N/A 82,470 N/A
Safety rate (lost time accidents>1 day per 100 employees) N/A 0.38 N/A

1 Total taxes include corporate income tax, withholding tax, deferred tax as well as social security costs and other taxes that are reflected as operating expenses; as per IFRS accounts.

Source: The World Economic Outlook Database, International Monetary Fund, October 2019. 

Percentage changes are calculated on precise numbers.

Percentage changes are calculated on precise numbers.