Coca-Cola HBC full-year sales rise on volume, pricing

LONDON, Feb 14 (Reuters) – Drinks maker Coca-Cola HBC reported higher full-year sales and profits on Wednesday, helped by volume increases and pricing.

The company, which sells Coca-Cola drinks in 28 countries mostly in Europe, said sales grew 4.9 percent to 6.5 billion euros in 2017.

Excluding currency fluctuations, sales rose 5.9 percent, helped by a 2.2 percent rise in volume.

Comparable earnings before interest and tax (EBIT) rose 20 percent to 621 million euros, with comparable earnings per share up about 27 percent to 1.23 euros, ahead of analyst expectations.

Zoran Bogdanovic, who took over as chief executive in December following the death of CEO Dimitris Lois, called 2017 an “exceptional” year.

“We are excited about the year ahead, which has a particularly strong pipeline of product innovation and commercial activity,” Bogdanovic said in a statement. “We are confident that 2018 will be another successful year.”

Reporting by Martinne Geller; Editing by Kirsten Donovan

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