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Keurig Dr Pepper reports strong Q3 2021 results, coffee systems net sales up 5.3% to US$1.16B

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BURLINGTON, Mass. and FRISCO, Texas, US – Keurig Dr Pepper Inc. reported strong and balanced financial results for the third quarter ended September 30, 2021 and raised its guidance for net sales growth, which is now expected in the range of 7% to 8% for 2021. The Company also reaffirmed its guidance for Adjusted diluted EPS growth in the range of 13% to 15% for the year.

Commenting on the announcement, the Chairman and CEO of Keurig Dr Pepper Bob Gamgort stated, “In the quarter, we continued to effectively manage through macro challenges to deliver strong and balanced results.

DVG De Vecchi

We are now entering the final quarter of our three-year, post-merger period with excellent top-line momentum and are on track to deliver or exceed our original merger commitments. Our outlook for the business remains strong, as we look forward to our next chapter of transformation and growth.”

Keurig Dr Pepper: Third Quarter Consolidated Results

Net sales for the third quarter of 2021 increased 7.6% to $3.25 billion, compared to $3.02 billion in the year-ago period, driven by growth in each business segment, with Beverage Concentrates and Latin America Beverages posting double-digit growth. On a constant currency basis, net sales advanced 6.8% in the quarter, reflecting higher volume/mix of 3.2% and favorable net price realization of 3.6%. On a two-year basis, year-to-date constant currency net sales advanced 13.3% versus the first nine months of 2019.

La Cimbali

Keurig Dr Pepper in-market performance in the Liquid Refreshment Beverages (LRB) category remained strong in the quarter, with retail dollar consumption² advancing 6.8% across the Company’s cold beverage retail base, reflecting strength in CSDs³, premium unflavored water, enhanced flavored water, coconut water, apple juice and apple sauce. This performance was driven by Dr Pepper, Sunkist, Canada Dry, A&W and Squirt CSDs, Evian, Bai, Vita Coco, Polar and Mott’s apple juice and apple sauce. On a two-year stacked basis, KDP gained market share in nearly 75% of its cold beverage retail base and grew consumption of its cold beverage portfolio by 23%.

In coffee, retail consumption of single-serve pods manufactured by Keurig Dr Pepper in IRi tracked channels increased 4.3% and dollar market share remained strong, advancing to 83% in the quarter. Performance in the away-from-home business improved versus the year-ago shelter-in-place environment, although the increase in overall consumer mobility has not yet fully translated into a broad return to offices. On a two-year stacked basis, retail consumption of single-serve pods manufactured by Keurig Dr Pepper increased 16% in IRi tracked channels.

GAAP operating income increased 5.6% to $795 million in the third quarter of 2021, compared to $753 million in the year-ago period, reflecting the growth in net sales and the benefits of productivity and merger synergies. Partially offsetting these positive drivers were inflation in input costs, logistics and manufacturing, higher operating expenses associated with strong consumer demand, a significant increase in marketing investment and the unfavorable year-over-year impact of items affecting comparability.

Adjusted operating income grew 6.5% to $931 million in the third quarter of 2021, compared to $874 million in the year-ago period, driven by a 50 basis point increase in adjusted gross margin in the quarter. Adjusted operating margin was 28.6% of net sales in the third quarter of 2021, compared to 28.9% in the year-ago period, reflecting the impact of the significantly higher marketing investment in the third quarter of 2021 versus year-ago. On a two-year basis, year-to-date Adjusted operating income advanced 20.9% versus the first nine months of 2019. On a constant currency basis, Adjusted operating income increased 5.7% in the third quarter.

GAAP net income grew 20% to $530 million in the third quarter of 2021, or $0.37 per diluted share, compared to $443 million, or $0.31 per diluted share, in the year-ago period. This performance was driven by the growth in operating income and a double-digit decline in interest expense, primarily reflecting the benefits of the strategic refinancing completed in the first quarter of 2021 and lower outstanding indebtedness. Also benefitting the comparison was the favorable year-over-year impact of items affecting comparability.

Adjusted net income advanced 13.3% to $631 million in the third quarter of 2021, compared to $557 million in the year-ago period, largely reflecting the Adjusted operating income growth and the significant decline in interest expense. Adjusted diluted EPS advanced 12.8% to $0.44 in the third quarter of 2021, compared to $0.39 in the year-ago period. On a two-year basis, year-to-date Adjusted diluted EPS grew 32.2% versus the first nine months of 2019.

Free cash flow totaled $676 million in the third quarter of 2021, primarily reflecting the growth in earnings and ongoing effective working capital management. This continued strong free cash flow performance enabled KDP to reduce total financial obligations by $327 million in the third quarter of 2021 and end the period with $200 million of unrestricted cash on hand. In addition, the Company’s management leverage ratio continued to decline, ending the third quarter of 2021 at 3.2x, compared to 3.8x in the year-ago period. Since the close of the merger in July 2018, the Company’s management leverage ratio has declined by 2.8x.

¹ Adjusted financial metrics used in this release are non-GAAP. See reconciliations of GAAP results to Adjusted results in the accompanying tables.
² Retail consumption data based on Keurig Dr Pepper’s custom IRi category definitions for the 13-week period ending 9/26/2021.
³ CSDs refer to “Carbonated Soft Drinks”.

Third Quarter Segment Results

Coffee Systems

Net sales for the third quarter of 2021 advanced 5.3% to $1.16 billion, compared to $1.10 billion in the year-ago period. On a constant currency basis, net sales advanced 4.6%, reflecting higher volume/mix of 5.7% and lower net price realization of 1.1%.

The volume/mix increase of 5.7% in the quarter reflected pod volume growth of 6.3% and brewer volume growth of 2.2%, despite lapping growth of 34% in the year-ago quarter. The pod volume performance reflected continued strong growth in the at-home business and improving trends in the away-from-home business, although the return to offices continues to be slow and the away-from-home business remains well below pre-pandemic levels. The brewer volume growth largely reflected continued strong retail consumption, primarily driven by the Company’s successful brewer innovation program, despite the comparison to the very strong brewer shipments in the year-ago period.

GAAP operating income increased 4.4% to $334 million in the third quarter of 2021, compared to $320 million in the year-ago period, reflecting the strong net sales growth, continued productivity and merger synergies and the favorable year-over-year impact of items affecting comparability. Partially offsetting these positive drivers were inflation in input costs, logistics and manufacturing and higher marketing investment in the quarter.

Adjusted operating income increased 1.1% to $377 million in the third quarter of 2021, compared to $373 million in the year-ago period and, on a constant currency basis, Adjusted operating income advanced 0.5%. On a percent of net sales basis, Adjusted operating income in the third quarter of 2021 was 32.6%, compared to 34.0% in the year-ago period, largely due to the impacts of inflation and increased marketing investment.

Packaged Beverages

Net sales for the third quarter of 2021 increased 6.9% to $1.55 billion, compared to $1.45 billion in the year-ago period. On a constant currency basis, net sales increased 6.8%, reflecting favorable volume/mix of 1.5% and higher net price realization of 5.3%. Leading the strong net sales performance were CSDs, particularly Dr Pepper, Canada Dry, Sunkist, A&W, 7UP, and Squirt, as well as growth in Polar and Mott’s, partially offset by a decline in Snapple related to recent supply chain challenges and softness in Hawaiian Punch.

GAAP operating income increased 10.8% to $288 million in the third quarter of 2021, compared to $260 million in the year-ago period, largely reflecting the benefits of the strong net sales growth, continued productivity and merger synergies and the favorable year-over-year impact of items affecting comparability. Partially offsetting these growth drivers were inflation in input costs, logistics and manufacturing, increased operating expenses to meet continued strong consumer demand, higher marketing investment and an increase in other operating expenses.

Adjusted operating income advanced 2.6% to $312 million in the third quarter of 2021, compared to $304 million in the year-ago period and, on a constant currency basis, Adjusted operating income increased 2.3%. On a percent of net sales basis, Adjusted operating income in the third quarter of 2021 was 20.2%, compared to 21.0% in the year-ago period.

Beverage Concentrates

Net sales for the third quarter of 2021 increased 11.4% to $392 million, compared to $352 million in the year-ago period. On a constant currency basis, net sales advanced 10.8%, reflecting favorable net price realization of 11.4% and lower volume/mix of 0.6%. The volume/mix performance reflected lower concentrate shipments in the quarter, largely offset by improving trends versus year-ago in the fountain foodservice business, driven by increased consumer mobility in the restaurant and hospitality channels.

Total shipment volume versus year-ago decreased 0.6% in the quarter, as a decline in Canada Dry was partially offset by higher shipment volume of Dr Pepper. Bottler case sales volume increased 1.6% in the quarter compared to the year-ago period.

GAAP operating income increased 9.2% to $286 million in the third quarter of 2021, compared to $262 million in the year-ago period, reflecting the benefit of the higher net sales, partially offset by significantly higher marketing investment in the quarter.

Adjusted operating income increased 9.1% to $289 million in the third quarter of 2021, compared to $265 million in the year-ago period and, on a constant currency basis, Adjusted operating income advanced 8.7%. On a percent of net sales basis, Adjusted operating income was 73.7% in the third quarter of 2021, compared to 75.3% in the year-ago period, due to the significant increase in marketing.

Latin America Beverages

Net sales for the third quarter of 2021 increased 25.8% to $156 million, compared to $124 million in the year-ago period and, on a constant currency basis, net sales increased 14.5%. This performance was driven by strong volume/mix growth of 10.5%, reflecting the benefits of significantly higher marketing investment and favorable net price realization of 4.0%. Leading the strong net sales performance in the quarter were Peñafiel and Clamato.

GAAP operating income increased 48% to $37 million in the third quarter of 2021, compared to $25 million in the year-ago period, reflecting the strong growth in constant currency net sales, continued productivity and favorable foreign currency translation and transaction impacts. This performance was partially offset by inflation in input costs and logistics, significantly higher marketing investment and increased operating expenses associated with strong consumer demand.

Adjusted operating income increased 48% to $37 million in the third quarter of 2021, compared to $25 million in the year-ago period and, on a constant currency basis, Adjusted operating income increased 36%. On a percent of net sales basis, Adjusted operating income advanced 350 basis points to 23.7% in the third quarter of 2021, compared to 20.2% in the year-ago period, primarily reflecting the strong growth in net sales and productivity.

Outlook for 2021

The Company raised its guidance for constant currency net sales growth to the range of 7% to 8%, from the previous range of 6% to 7%, and reaffirmed its outlook for Adjusted diluted EPS growth in the range of 13% to 15%. Keurig Dr Pepper continues to expect its management leverage ratio to be at or below 3.0x at year-end.

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