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Coca Cola Hellenic: 2011 net at 330 million euros

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Coca-Cola Hellenic, the worlds second-largest bottler of Coca-Cola soft drinks, posted a 27 percent drop in 2011 net profit, hit by austerity in debt-laden Greece and Italy and higher commodity costs.

"In 2012, we anticipate further input cost pressures and slowdown in euro zone growth, leading to uncertainty and volatility in most of our EU markets," CCH said on Wednesday, adding it would continue to cut costs.

CCH said comparable net profit fell to 330 million euros ($433 million), in line with forecasts and before restructuring costs of 60 million euros.

The Athens-based company, with operations in 27 countries in Europe and also in Nigeria, has suffered from weak demand in many of its markets since a global credit crisis in 2008.

Adding to its blues are wage cuts and tax hikes in Greece since 2010 and in struggling Italy last year, two of CCHs biggest markets, along with a double-digit percentage rise in raw material costs.

CCH said it would invest 1.45 billion euros in 2012-14 to boost its brands, including ahead of this years European Soccer Championships and Olympic Games.

"We expect the economic environment and consumer sentiment to remain weak in 2012. We also anticipate another year of significant input cost pressures. In this environment, we will continue to optimise our operations to reduce our ongoing costs," Chief Executive Dimitris Lois said.
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