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Coca-Cola HBC Sales Decline as Established European Markets Slip

Aug. 8 (Bloomberg) -- Coca-Cola HBC AG, the bottler that switched its listing from Athens to London, said second-quarter sales fell 2 percent as a volume gain in emerging markets failed to offset declines in countries including Greece and Austria.

Revenue fell to 1.95 billion euros ($2.6 billion) in the three months ended June 28, the company said today in a statement. That missed the prediction of Mike Gibbs, an analyst at JPMorgan Cazenove who estimated sales of 1.989 billion euros.

Volume gained 2 percent in emerging markets, Coca-Cola HBC said, while levels dropped 6 percent in so-called established economies and 3 percent in developing markets. The company buys concentrate from Atlanta-based Coca-Cola Co. and sells the products in Europe.

Coca-Cola HBC said it will start a “progressive” dividend policy in 2014 that targets an annual payout with a ratio to profit after tax of 35 percent to 45 percent. The company, which switched its primary stock listing in April, paid a dividend of 34 euros cents a share in July worth 124.7 million euros, or about 43 percent.

Coca-Cola HBC maintained volume share in sparkling drinks “in the majority of our markets” in the first half, the company said.

The bottler operates in countries with lower per-capita consumption of sparkling drinks than the rest of the eurozone, which will help it boost volume growth, Chief Executive Officer Dimitris Lois said in April.

To contact the reporter on this story: Sarah Shannon in London at sshannon4@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Celeste Perri at cperri@bloomberg.net

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