The Company Coca-Cola Bottling Shqipëri Celebrates its 20th Anniversary

Today, “Coca-Cola Bottling Shqipëria Sh.p.k.” (CCBS) celebrated the 20th anniversary of its factory in Albania. At the press conference were present the representatives of the company’s shareholders, including Ahmet Bozer, Executive Vice President and President of Coca-Cola International; Arben Ahmetaj, Minister of Economic Development, Trade and Entrepreneurship, representing the Albanian Government in the company’s joint venture; Mr. Luca Busi, President of CCBS, and Mrs. Cristina Busi Ferruzzi, Managing Director of CCBS.

On May 19, 1994, when CCBS opened its doors and produced the first Coca-Cola bottle, it represented the first foreign investment in Albania after nearly 50 years of isolation. Today, the company has over 300 direct and over 1,500 indirect employees, as well as an excellent network of sales agents. The company has set up a world-class business that has experienced expansion and steady growth and has ambitious plans for its future.

In 2013, the company’s performance surpassed all previous year parameters, providing a turnover  of € 22 million, a 3.9% increase in volume, and a 42% increase in net income. When Coca-Cola arrived in Albania in 1994, it had a $12 million factory, built in 83 days, and 20 employees. In this 20th anniversary, investments in total have exceeded $50 million. The company also excels in introducing new products by constantly focusing on innovation and the perfect execution of commercial plans. One of the most recent projects, “Project 100%” aims to provide 100% coverage of the Albanian market.

Muhtar Kent, today CEO of The Coca Cola Company, who represented the international giant at the inauguration ceremony in 1994, shared the following message on the 20th anniversary of CCBS, “Through the commitment toward Coca-Cola Bottling Shqipëria (CCBS), The Coca-Cola Company has expressed its confidence in the Albanian market, demonstrating an impressive growth trajectory in the last 20 years. I am proud to have been part of this growth from day one and I am privileged to say I helped start this business. The strength of a company is equal to the strength of its people, and I believe that the dedicated team of professionals at Coca-Cola Bottling Shqipëria is the key to Coca-Cola’s success in the country.”

Mr. Bozer spoke at the press conference and stressed to the audience that CCBS is a success story for Coca-Cola in Albania, and the ACIES group in Italy. According to Mr. Bozer. “I am extremely privileged because the month of May has two birthdays: one is Coca-Cola’s birthday, 128 years ago and the other is CCBS’s… We hope to walk together side by side towards the future.” Bozer added: “CCBS was an investment that brought many things, but let me list the three most important: a major global brand and the trust that accompanies its arrival in the country, jobs and a world-class company in a growing economy with high potential.” The Executive Vice President added, “…part of the success of CCBS is dedicated to the support and trust of every Albanian Government and Albanian consumer. Without these two, every global brand would have a hard time achieving success.”

Speaking to reporters about the anniversary and the future, CCBS President Luca Busi described ther anniversary “not as a milestone, but as a starting point for the next phase.” According to Mr. Busi, “CCBS has an ambitious project for the next five years – doubling the volume and turnover.” Mr. Busi said that the company will do this with the winning mentality that has characterized its history in Albania, driving the growth of CCBS along with the growth of Albania. President Busi closed his speech, “We turn 20 years old and at this age you are more mature, ready for university. We have a big trip ahead and maybe we need to mature even more. But 20 years old is a great age.”

CCBS’s Managing Director, Mrs. Cristina Busi Ferruzzi, who ran the company in the first years, shared with the audience, “Albania made me realize how lucky we are to be born in a country without dictatorship, the great generosity of Albanians in welcoming Kosovars in 1999, and all the values that Albanians have but that Europe seems to have lost.” According to Mrs. Busi Ferruzzi, “Many ask why we are still in Albania… the pleasure of trusting and investing our trust in this country is immense.” Mrs. Busi is proud of the company and its contributions to the country, “We are proud to have contributed to the progress of the country, being the first to invest and give life to the industrial area of Tirana.”

Shortly before the press conference, Bozer and Busi inaugurated the 40,000 Euro Green Project, which envisages the planting of 75 olive roots (completed on May 19) and 140 pomegranate trees by the end of 2015. The irrigation system for the trees will be supplied by wastewater treatment system, which represents another technological achievement of the company.