Coca-Cola HBC Sales Decline as Established European Markets Slip

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.

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