The Cambodia Beverage Company Ltd, the local producer and distributor of Coca-Cola products, has reported a slight dip in overall sales in 2015, which it attributed to a flood of illegal beverage imports.
Lim Lina, the company’s communications manager, said yesterday that beverages imported illegally, mainly from Thailand, were undermining the company’s market share, and the company was working with customs authorities and government ministries to stem the flow.
“While [illegal imports] have caused a slowing in our business, it has broader implications in that Cambodia has lost a significant amount of tax revenue and jobs,” she said. “We will continue to work with government leaders to address this issue.”
David Wigglesworth, general manager of Cambodia Beverage Company (CBC), said despite the sales slowdown, the company’s growth outlook remained strong.
“The year 2015 was a bit slower than the prior year, but our core brands, which are our sparkling beverages, growth remained strong compared to all other brands,” he said, declining to give sales figures.
CBC broke ground last August on a $100 million factory in the Phnom Penh Special Economic Zone (PPSEZ) that will more than double the beverage company’s current output.
The new factory is expected to open in July and will add around 300 workers to the company’s 600 existing workers.
“Based on our current projections, our new factory would be able to supply local demand until 2035,” said Wigglesworth.
“And we would even be in a position to export excess capacity in the near future, if suitable export incentives were available and if demand from other Coca-Cola bottlers presented itself.”
CBC currently operates out of a factory in the capital’s Russei Keo district, producing Coca-Cola and other carbonated beverages, including Sprite, Fanta, Schweppes, Samurai and Dasani.