Coca-Cola Enterprises Inc. (CCE)
June 11, 2013 10:45 am ET
John Franklin Brock - Chairman, Chief Executive Officer, Member of Executive Committee and Member of Corporate Responsibility & Sustainability Committee
William W. Douglas - Chief Financial Officer and Executive Vice President
All right, we're going to get started here with Coca-Cola Enterprises. It's my great pleasure to invite CEO, John Brock and the Chairman as well; and Executive Vice President and CFO, Bill Douglas. Thanks for coming, John.
John Franklin Brock
Okay. Thank you and good afternoon, everyone. It's a real pleasure to be with you today to provide an overview of Coca-Cola Enterprises including our long-term outlook and objectives and to answer any questions you might have.
Joining me today are Bill Douglas, our Chief Financial Officer; and Thor Erickson, Vice President of Investor Relations.
Before we begin, I would like to ask you to please take a look at our statement on the slide as our presentation will contain forward-looking comments that should be considered in conjunction with the cautionary language in our most recent annual report on Form 10-K and other SEC filings.
As you may know, Coca-Cola Enterprises is the leading Western European Coca-Cola bottler and one of the Coca-Cola Company's largest global bottling partners. Today, we'd like to demonstrate our global operating focus and how we will build and continue to build, on a proven track record of success to secure the significant growth opportunities that are ahead of us. We'll also talk about our focus on creating value for shareowners and our commitment to managing our business the right way, as well as our dedication to creating opportunities for our talented people.
Let's start by taking a quick look at the scope of CCE today. We're a company with 2012 net sales of USD 8.1 billion. We serve some 170 million consumers across 7 countries and 1 principality and our consumers consume more than 30 billion servings of our products every year. We produce our products at 17 different locations, each a component of our pan-European supply chain. We have a workforce of about 13,000 including one of the largest sales forces of any consumer packaged goods company in our territories. Most importantly, CCE has the size, scope, plan and teams to continue to be an effective competitor in a very attractive category, with the ability to navigate a challenging macroeconomic environment.
At the core of our business is what we call our global operating framework. It has guided our work for more than 6 years. This has created a clear vision, clear priorities and very clear financial objectives. Our plans and actions are guided by 3 strategic priorities: first, to be the #1 or strong #2 in every category in which we choose to compete; second, to be our customers' most valued supplier; and third, to create a winning inclusive culture that attracts, develops and retains a highly talented and very diverse workforce. These priorities are essential to our success as we continue to drive consistent, long-term, profitable growth.
We believe in our ability to create sustained growth in line with our long-term objectives and part of the reason for this is our track record and the fundamentals of our business. The Nonalcoholic Ready-to-Drink category, which we call NARTD, is growing with compound annual growth of some 6% over the past 3 years and generates about USD 65 billion in retail sales each year.
Within this category, we have brands that our consumers prefer and a successful position in both volume and value share across our territories.
We have a track record of growth, with a history of achieving our long-term targets by successfully managing and executing through dynamic and often challenging times. Importantly, we have a solid and flexible balance sheet, strong free cash flow and a clear focus on creating value for each stakeholder of our company.
Now let's discuss the opportunities, the strategies, as well as the initiatives that are at the very heart of that growth enable us to continue to deliver value for each of our stakeholders.
First, let's take a look at the size and scope of the opportunity that we see available in our territories. We operate in a large, growing retail category of beverages. This category, in all segments and channels, is a $160 billion retail market in our territories. More specifically, we are actively and profitably operating in the $65 billion NARTD segment that includes grocery, take home and on-premise channels. And while our product volume is concentrated in high-value sparkling beverages, we do have a complete range of brands across both Still and Water categories.
While the total NARTD category in our territory comprises retail value of some $65 billion, it is substantially less developed than that same category in the United States. With European tea and coffee consumption that is about double that of consumption in the U.S., the European NARTD is a little more than half the size of the U.S. Now importantly, the high-value Sparkling segment in Europe represents about 1/2 of the consumption when you compare it to the U.S. And while we expect the European market will always maintain certain contrast with the U.S., we do believe this difference clearly demonstrates opportunity for the NARTD category, as well as Sparkling segment growth.
As we work to broaden our portfolio, it is important to remember that we benefit from a favorable value mix within the NARTD category. The majority of our volume, about 85%, is generated through sparkling beverages, which is the high-value segment of the category and creates a solid profit base from which to grow and expand our business.
Per capita consumption is another clear indication of our growth opportunity and our ability to achieve that growth. Since 2000, we've achieved a CAGR of 1% to 2%. Compared to other developed economies, per capita consumption in our territories remains relatively low, creating added room for long-term growth. We believe continued growth in per caps is essential in reaching our long-term sales growth target of 4% to 6% each year.
Now let's take a look at the brands, market initiatives and strategies that will enable us to secure marketplace opportunities and drive future growth.
At the heart of our work are 3 vital elements: First, our successful brand portfolio; second, the outstanding marketing and execution we bring to the marketplace in partnership with the Coca-Cola Company; and third, our people, whose talent and dedication bring our business to life each and every day.
Clearly, our core Coca-Cola trademark Sparkling brands, including one of the world's most recognized brands, Coca-Cola, remain integral to our success and will continue to drive a very substantial part of our growth. These brands represent some 68% of our total volume mix. Sparkling Flavors and Energy represent approximately another 18% of our volume mix. We have popular flavor brand such as Fanta, Sprite, Dr. Pepper and Schweppes that add real depth to our Sparkling portfolio and we continue to achieve important volume and profit growth through our Energy brands, which include Monster, burn and Relentless.
We also continue to drive growth through a broad Still portfolio, which is about 14% of our total volume mix. We have excellent juice and juice drink brands such as Minute Maid, Capri-Sun and Ocean Spray. And then we have Waters including Schweppes Abbey Well, Abbey Well and Chaudfontaine.
So even as we broaden our portfolio, Coca-Cola trademark brands remain at the very core of our business and are #1 in both volume and value cola share in every one of our territories.
Several factors combine to create this successful platform. While brand Coca-Cola, as you would expect, remains our most popular brand, Coca-Cola Zero continues to achieve significant growth with a compound annual growth rate of more than 12% over each of the last 3 years.
And importantly, we continue to innovate. We must make certain that we match packages with consumer and customer preferences, and that we create brand extensions to match evolving consumer needs. We are offering new price points this year with the 375 ML and the 1.75-liter packages and new brand extensions such as Coca-Cola Zero Cherry and the expansion of Vanilla Coke into additional territories.
While our overall volume mix and volume growth continues to be led by our trademark Coca-Cola brands, our ability to successfully compete in other segments demonstrates the value of our strategy to broaden the portfolio. We remain #1 in both volume and value share in the Sparkling Flavors segment, Enhance this important segment of our portfolio, we continue to innovate with the introduction of new flavors and new packages including the expansion of Sprite with Stevia. We also continue to build on our very successful multi-brand strategy in Energy, as CCE Energy brands grew at approximately twice the overall segment last year.
So with package, flavor and sweetener innovations in our Energy portfolio, we look forward to continuing volume and value share growth.
Stills admittedly represent a smaller portion of our total volume mix, though this segment of our business continues to provide important growth opportunities. To secure this growth, we continue to innovate with brand extensions, new flavors, new sweeteners and new packaging.
Capri-Sun, Ocean Spray and vitaminwater have been successful additions to our portfolio, and we continue to develop our sports drink brands based on the dual platform of both Aquarius and Powerade. Additionally, we have just relaunched our Nestea brand with the alternative no-calorie all-natural sweetener, Stevia. And in Water, we are building on our key brands, including Chaudfontaine and Schweppes Abbey Well. Going forward selectively growing our share within the Stills segment represents an essential element of our overall portfolio strategy.
Now robust marketing plan is essential to activate our core brands and to drive growth. For 2013, we have a solid calendar planned, including events supporting the 30-year anniversary of the introduction of Diet Coke and Coke Light. That, obviously, being in Europe. And a year-long focus on Coke with Meals. In addition, we have an expanded online presence with consumers, special summer promotions through a Taste of Summer effort, as well as our traditional holiday and Christmas programs.
Importantly, we've also introduced the Share a Coke campaign, with individual names of people representing and replacing the Coca-Cola logo. To date, this program is performing well in its main objective, which is to link the brand with friends, fun and refreshment. It's also helping us connect with target shoppers and consumers, driving purchases and reinforcing the quality of the Coca-Cola brand.
To illustrate what we're doing with Share a Coke, I'd like to share with you an informational video that outlines the program, and then we're going to follow that with 2 commercials: one for Share a Coke; and then also, a summer spot for Sprite. Let's roll the videos.
John Franklin Brock
Okay. We hope you enjoyed those. Beyond our marketing efforts, customer service, which means being our customers' most valued supplier, is really a key element of our strategic operating framework and it's central to continuing to moving our company forward. This means that we have to have supply chain excellence in regard to procurement, production and logistics.
We will continue to enhance our customer-centric, pan-European supply chain, leverage our flexible distribution system, and thus, drive increasing effectiveness and efficiency. We will accomplish all of this in a responsible and sustainable way with a clear goal: to enhance our customer relationships and to continuously improve our service. Ultimately, creating sustainable growth and value for all of our customers.
Going forward, ensuring our future success also demands that our organization is optimally structured to drive results. To increase our effectiveness going forward, we've initiated what we're calling a Business Transformation Program, which will streamline our support structure, restructure our sales and marketing operations and enhance our operating model and drive sustainable future growth.
The new integrated sales and marketing structure, which has already been proven in our Benelux regions, will deliver increased productivity, step-change operating efficiency and enhance the adoption of best practices. We expect $100 million in ongoing benefits by 2015 and we will accomplish this while ensuring that we're focused on delivering our high levels of customer service.
As we expand and refine our customer strategies, we also seek ways to operate more effectively. As a result we began transforming our business in Norway more than a year ago. Our goal is to better match our distribution system to the desires of our customers, as well as to unlock value by offering our products in a total variety of packages in order to address both consumer and customer needs.
We have made excellent progress in Norway, introducing recyclable, non-refillable small and large PET packaging into the marketplace, which has created a very clear point of differentiation for our brands. And at the same time, we have transitioned away from direct store delivery to central warehouse delivery, which enhances efficiency for all of our customers. These changes have operating and commercial benefits. And by reducing our overall operating impact, there are very important environmental benefits, as well, to these changes.
Creating growth requires not only outstanding service and a successful brand portfolio, but a balanced approach to every aspect of our business including revenue management capabilities, efficiency and effectiveness initiatives and very prudent technology management.
For example, through revenue growth management, we offer customers price and package options that maximize value for them while at the same time, growing the category and our brands. And whether it's investing in, in outlet technologies that enable a more effective sales force, refining our value creation model or working to increase our online presence, we're committed to continually evolving our go-to-market model and practices so that we can serve customers and consumers more effectively.
Now I'd like to ask Bill Douglas, our Chief Financial Officer, to come up and discuss our financial outlook, as well as our work to create shareowner value. Bill?
William W. Douglas
Thanks, John. It's a pleasure to be here in Paris, one of our key markets, with you today to discuss our approach for driving shareowner value at Coca-Cola Enterprises.
We have a clear set of financial priorities that guide us in our financial decision-making process. First, we are focused on delivering consistent earnings growth in line with our long-term objectives. Second, we want to maximize free cash flow and optimize our capital structure while maintaining our financial flexibility. And finally, we will increase return on invested capital and drive shareowner value over time.
Ultimately, we have a clear goal for the future: drive shareowner value through organic growth, value-creating investments and optimize capital structure and by returning cash.
To achieve our goals, we are executing a focused financial approach to our business. There are several key steps in this process, including generating solid cash from operations and managing working capital effectively. We must also invest our cash prudently while maximizing the utilization of our asset base.
In addition, we will continue to take advantage of the current low interest rate environment and leverage our balance sheet to reach our net debt-to-EBITDA target range of 2.5x to 3x. Further, we will maintain a disciplined approach to M&A and we will return cash to shareowners through a competitive dividend payout as well as share repurchase program. All of this is essential in our efforts to create increasing value over time for shareowners.
Key to this long-term growth is continuing to meet the demanding growth objectives that we have established with the creation of our company back in 2010. Long term, we expect annual net sales growth of 4% to 6%, operating income growth of 6% to 8%. We expect this growth to be driven by balance of volume, price and mix and the benefits of disciplined operating efficiencies, capital management and cost containment. By effectively driving top line growth and operating leverage, we will continue to generate a solid free cash flow that fuels our business.
Another important element of our future success is the ability to effectively reinvest in our core business, both to create growth and to maintain our facilities and operations. Our long-term guidance for capital expenditures is in a range of 4% to 4.5% of net sales revenue. We expect approximately 2/3 of this capital investment to be for growth items, capacity expansion or cooler investment and 1/3 for maintenance and supporting existing operations.
As we invest in long-term growth, we will continue to seek ways to utilize the flexibility in our balance sheet. As we have discussed before, we are currently below our long-term net debt-to-EBITDA target of 2.5x to 3x. We do, however, plan to reach the low end of this range by the end of this year, December '13. We will utilize this opportunity. And, over time, maintain flexibility in our debt levels within the long-term range.
Beyond this future flexibility, it is important to note that our current debt is structured well, with a balance of maturity dates. Also a benefit, our weighted average cost of debt is currently just under 3%.
Going forward, we will use the leverage of our balance sheet as we carefully evaluate high-return investment opportunities including potential M&A. We will determine what strengths we can bring to the business and decide whether the opportunity will create additional value for stakeholders. Importantly, any opportunity will be evaluated for its impact on cash flows, the incremental value to our core business, the risk and costs associated. Ultimately, any actions will also be evaluated against several alternatives including returning cash to shareowners.
By driving operating growth, investing in high-return opportunities and managing working capital, we will continue to achieve and improve our solid return on invested capital.
In 2012, we achieved a 14% return on invested capital. And long-term, we expect to annually increase this by approximately 20 basis points per annum.
Our goal of creating increasing value for shareowners is supported by a demonstrated commitment of returning cash to shareowners through both share repurchase, as well as dividends. In 2012, we completed our second share repurchase program since 2010, repurchasing some $1.8 billion in shares cumulatively under both programs. And earlier this year, we initiated a new $1.5 billion program with a goal of approximately $1 billion in repurchases during calendar year 2013.
We've also demonstrated our commitment to increasing dividends. As you can see, we've increased our dividend rate each year for the past 6 years. And in fact, earlier this year, we increased our dividend by 25% to $0.80 per share on an annualized basis, which is more than double the dividend rate in 2009.
In total, through share repurchase, cash returns and dividends, we've returned $5.6 billion to shareowners from the time of our transaction in 2010 through year end 2012, more than double the amount returned to shareowners in the prior 23-year history of CCE.
Going forward, we will have continued opportunity to return cash to shareowners. For 2013, our planned expenditures for both dividends and share repurchase will approximate 12% of our market cap. This return is generated through a combination of free cash flow, as well as utilizing balance sheet leverage.
Looking ahead, we see additional opportunities to generate cash for shareowners through ongoing and organic growth in free cash flow and through maintaining and increasing balance sheet leverage, as we optimize our capital structure.
Now I'd like to provide some context around our current operating environment. Throughout 2012 and so far this year, we have faced challenging operating conditions. As we have discussed, these challenges include persistent underlying macroeconomic weakness, significant headwinds in our industry from poor weather, the prolonged impact of the sharp excise tax increase here in France and a dynamic competitive environment in Great Britain. Today, some of these factors have been unexpectedly persistent and have dampened our outlook for the current second quarter.
Though we continue to expect the impact of some of these challenges to abate as we move through the year, we will better understand the full year impact as we move deeper into the heart of our key summer selling season.
We have faced and overcome difficult challenges before. For example, in 2004 and 2005, a combination of factors created declines in volume plus price, yet we recovered and generated average growth rates of 5.5% for the next 6-year period. In 2012, with flat volume plus price growth, we managed the levers of our business, generating 2.5% operating income growth and 11% earnings per share growth, both of these on a comparable and currency-neutral basis.
Given this uncertain environment and the importance of our results in June and July, we will update you more specifically about our operating outlook for the remainder of the year, when we hold our second quarter earnings call on July 25.
Even though 2013 has remained challenging, as we have done before, we will adapt our plans, continue to manage each and every lever of our business and focus on generating strong free cash flow to ultimately drive shareowner value.
In closing this financial discussion, let me summarize with a few parting thoughts.
First, we are realistic about the challenging environment. Second, we have a solid history of, and commitment to, managing all levers of our business to deliver growth. Third, we have a flexible capital structure that provides significant opportunities with regard to acquisition, returning cash to shareowners, and ultimately, creating shareowner value. And last, we have long-term objectives that are challenging yet achievable, and represent levels of performance that we know will drive increasing value.
Thanks for your attention. And now, I'll turn it over to John for a few closing thoughts. And then we'll be happy to take a few questions.
John Franklin Brock
Thanks, Bill. As we work to build our company for the benefit of all of our stakeholders, we believe it is really imperative that we do so in a sustainable, responsible way. For that reason, we continue to integrate corporate responsibility and sustainability or CRS into every area of our business.
In 2012, we made substantial progress, reducing our carbon footprint, making new inroads toward increased recycling, investing in our communities and expanding our investment in active and healthy living programs.
We're also proud of our new sustainability plan, which is called Deliver for Today and Inspire for Tomorrow. And this plan offers a strategic platform for us to achieve ongoing progress and industry leadership in key sustainability measures.
Now in closing, let me discuss with you a few of the risk and provide a few key takeaways.
We continue to face the ongoing impact of a dynamic and challenging macroeconomic environment. Commodity cost remain volatile, as well. We face evolving consumer taste and preferences, with an increasing focus on health and well-being, and we are continually working to meet these changing needs. And of course, there is the potential for new taxes on our products and packages.
So while aware of all of these risks, as well as the challenges ahead, our team is focused on managing through these challenges, growing our business and driving value for our shareowners. We are executing against our strategic priorities and building on our history of solid growth. Our financial priorities are to drive consistent long-term profitable growth that will, in turn, deliver increasing shareowner value.
Thanks very much for your time today and your interest in our company. Now we'll be glad to take a couple of your questions.
John, can I just start with, if you sort of like disaggregate the volume weakness this quarter, can you weigh it between the macro, the weather and then the excise tax and the GB competitive issues?
John Franklin Brock
Yes, I think the biggest issue that we're dealing with right now is, in fact, weather. 2012 was the coldest, wettest summer in 100 years in Europe and all of our expert calculations and predictions and projections said there was a 13% or less chance of this summer being worse. Well, that's what's happened so far. It's colder by several degrees on average per day, particularly in the second half of May and first part of June. And it's weather. So weather is, I think, the biggest issue. A couple of other comments. The ongoing macroeconomic issues aren't any worse, they just remain there. And in terms of the competitive environment in GB, some of you may recall that in the first quarter results, we made the comment that the competitive environment in GB has actually improved. And relative to 2012 and what's happened in the second quarter is, it's returning more to a 2012 kind of approach. But that's the way I would stack up the factors. And in terms of the French excise tax, the good news there is that we have gotten all of our customer agreements in place in France. Our team has done a great job here in doing that in what is a difficult situation. But the fact remains the retailers are still trying to figure out exactly how best to compete with each other. I would say, as we look at France, we think the second half of the year looks like some of these customer situations could improve and we're guardedly optimistic.
Great. And then can you just comment on what happened in '04 and '05 that caused that shortfall, and how it's similar and how it's different than now?
John Franklin Brock
Well, again, part of it is weather. The summer -- I was actually in the beer business, in '03 running Interbrew and we all thought we were geniuses. It was the hottest, driest summer in probably 50 years in Europe. And of course, Coke benefited from the same situation. And then '04 and '05, there were no significant challenging macroeconomic issues. It was broadly a weather-related phenomena. And then you see starting in '06 through '11, we had 6 consecutive years where we basically achieved the kind of financial objectives we were confident we can achieve. We don't plan on really good weather, we don't plan on really bad weather, we just like for a normal summer. And that's what happened in that '03, '04 and '05 situation. Laura, do you want to direct traffic?
You were commenting before about how strong Coke Zero has been in the past 2 years. Can you please tell us what has been the evolution of the Coke portfolio in the past 2, 3 years? Between Coke, Coke Zero and Coke Light, in terms of the relevance of each and every brand? And then secondly, the importance of instant consumption in your markets, in terms of instant consumption?
John Franklin Brock
Immediate consumption, yes.
The immediate consumption in your markets, and whether this difficult economic climate is also having an impact on immediate consumption as well, and the growth opportunity there?
John Franklin Brock
Yes. Up until 2012, when we had the challenges which we just had talked about last year, largely due to weather, complicated by the French excise tax which went into place on January 1, 2012, we had consistently grown the My Coke portfolio across that entire 6-year period. And a significant part of that growth in '09, '10 and '11, was in fact, the introduction of -- or '10 and '11, was the introduction of Coke Zero, which had terrific growth. It's hard to generalize about Coke Zero, Coke Light and Classic Coke or red Coke, because the differences between each market are substantial. The Diet Coke franchise in GB is significant, and one of the most significant in the world. The growth of Coke Zero here in France, on a percentage basis, has been incredibly significant. I think what's most notable though is that the combination of the 3 brands within the My Coke family, have resulted in growth consistently year after year in Europe, in our countries, other than 2012, where we were basically flat, again largely because of the weather. In terms of immediate consumption, we have been driving hard over the past 6 years to drive immediate consumption. We have introduced some 300 boost zones throughout Europe, starting here in France, which is the concept of in a high-density area, having a sales representative who generally the lives in that area and cultivates and nurtures some 200 accounts and really puts in place a price package architecture which is state-of-the-art, puts in place coolers if it makes sense, umbrellas, menu boards, Coke with Food, and that has been a very successful program in driving on-the-go consumption.
In the last couple of years, I think it's fair to say that there has been a modest switch, generally away from on-the-go consumption to future consumption largely because, I think, of economics.
The good news for us is that our business model here, unlike, frankly, the one that we used to have in the United States, the business model here is one where we make a significant amount of profit in future consumption. And while you might conclude on-the-go consumption is slightly more profitable, it's only slightly. So for us, we can balance that just fine.
Can you comment on your view on the German assets? And also, your opinion on Lucozade and Ribena from the Glaxo business?
John Franklin Brock
Well, in so far as Germany goes, most of you probably know we had an agreement with the Coca-Cola Company coming out of the transaction, which created this new CCE and under which we bought Norway and Sweden. We had an agreement that expired in May of this year, which is basically an exclusive right to negotiate on Germany, which is currently on the bottling operations in Germany owned by the Coca-Cola Company. We mutually agreed to let that option expire. In the case of Germany, just as in the case of any potential acquisition that we would engage in, we had a very thorough and considerate due diligence process. And in the end, we chose not to move forward at this time. It was a mutual decision. It doesn't mean that we can't come back in the future and do something around Germany. It simply means that, that exclusive arrangement has expired. Not really much I can comment on about Lucozade and Ribena, other than to say that they're 2 outstanding brands. And the fact that GSK has made some sort of a strategic decision to potentially sell them, I think, means that there's going to be a number of people who will look at them very carefully. They're outstanding brands.
Could you discuss the variables of the results you would need to see to be able to reaffirm your guidance for the full year? Do the next 6 weeks need to have outstanding sales? Or as long as you can stabilize sales and have return to growth [ph] do you feel comfortable about the year?
John Franklin Brock
I think it's a little premature to do that. That's precisely why we didn't do that today. The next 6 weeks, 7 weeks are going to be very important. If we have some normal weather during these periods of time, I think we're going to be in an excellent position to talk about the balance of the year. But I think it will be a little premature for me to say that right now. We've got the right brands, we have the right people, we've got the right system, we have the right customer relationships. I think we're poised for solid results. If we could just have some decent weather, I think we'd be in pretty good shape. Any other questions? Yes, we got one. Last question, right here.
Just a question in [indiscernible] system, when we compare your performance, consistent market performance this quarter, with the last 5 years, I think you would perform at the time when you are entering the bad economic area in Europe, you're also maybe more capital-intensive versus Coca, and also you have to pay Coke with some kind of royalty. How do you justify that over such a period, you would perform, your mother company?
John Franklin Brock
Well, we think we've got a very good business model, in fact. We like being in the countries we're in. We have gone to great lengths to talk about what's so good about our business model. The fact is, our countries have population growth of about 0.5% a year, which is a good start. Beyond that, we have per capita consumption of Coke products which is about 1/2 that of the U.S. We have relative market shares which are strong, which is a good place to be. And more than anything, we have a history of growing our business in terms of volume, revenue and profit. The best predictor of the future for us, we think, is the past. And other than the incredibly cold and wet summer, coupled with the French taxes that we had last year and a bit of a continuation of that weather this year, I think we are poised for future growth. We have carefully, carefully looked at our long-range objectives of 4% to 6% revenue growth, 6% to 8% of profit growth and high-single digit earnings per share growth without a share repurchase plan, and we are convinced that those objectives are just as good today as they were when we put them in place several years ago.
So thank you, all, very much. It's been a pleasure being here with you today. We appreciate your interest.
Copyright policy: All transcripts on this site are the copyright of Seeking Alpha. However, we view them as an important resource for bloggers and journalists, and are excited to contribute to the democratization of financial information on the Internet. (Until now investors have had to pay thousands of dollars in subscription fees for transcripts.) So our reproduction policy is as follows: You may quote up to 400 words of any transcript on the condition that you attribute the transcript to Seeking Alpha and either link to the original transcript or to www.SeekingAlpha.com. All other use is prohibited.
THE INFORMATION CONTAINED HERE IS A TEXTUAL REPRESENTATION OF THE APPLICABLE COMPANY'S CONFERENCE CALL, CONFERENCE PRESENTATION OR OTHER AUDIO PRESENTATION, AND WHILE EFFORTS ARE MADE TO PROVIDE AN ACCURATE TRANSCRIPTION, THERE MAY BE MATERIAL ERRORS, OMISSIONS, OR INACCURACIES IN THE REPORTING OF THE SUBSTANCE OF THE AUDIO PRESENTATIONS. IN NO WAY DOES SEEKING ALPHA ASSUME ANY RESPONSIBILITY FOR ANY INVESTMENT OR OTHER DECISIONS MADE BASED UPON THE INFORMATION PROVIDED ON THIS WEB SITE OR IN ANY TRANSCRIPT. USERS ARE ADVISED TO REVIEW THE APPLICABLE COMPANY'S AUDIO PRESENTATION ITSELF AND THE APPLICABLE COMPANY'S SEC FILINGS BEFORE MAKING ANY INVESTMENT OR OTHER DECISIONS.
If you have any additional questions about our online transcripts, please contact us at: firstname.lastname@example.org. Thank you!