The investors who helped shares of U.K. drinks and candy company Cadbury Schweppes
The 2003 numbers reflect the complexities of Cadbury Schweppes due to its global reach. Last year, management grappled with weather issues -- a warm summer helped the drinks business in Europe, for example, while the U.S. held results back -- unique national factors, such as Germany's new mandatory packaging deposits, and customer issues like those that held back Dr Pepper sales in the U.S.
All told, revenues improved to roughly $10.36 billion (roughly converted from U.K. figures). Bottom-line figures fell from last year's levels as costs rose and operating margins fell. If Cadbury delivers on its stated goals of sales growth between 3% and 5% and operating margin expansion, next year's results should be improved.
Investors will expect no less. While Cadbury's ability to challenge Coca-Cola
Cadbury Schweppes has acquired brands the world over -- most notably last year's $4.2 billion purchase of Adams from Pfizer
But Cadbury Schweppes is hard at work being the big player. It's looking for acquisitions to spur growth while simultaneously working to improve profit margins and efficiency. There's plenty of room for improvement, but the company is as real as its 7-Up is "Un."
Talk about the future for the company and its range of businesses on our Cadbury Schweppes discussion board.
Fool contributor Dave Marino-Nachison doesn't own any of the companies in this article. He can be reached via email.