Coca-Cola profits buoyed by Coke Zero

Coca-Cola Enterprises (CCE), the largest bottler of coke products, has reported better than expected earnings for the forth quarter of 2007. The company says European results were helped by Coca-Cola Zero.

In North America, the strong results were thanks to Coke’s range of non-carbonated drinks such as flavoured water drinks and tea. The continent has seen the launch of the Glaceau range of vitamin-enhanced waters.

The company reports that Coca-Cola Zero, a calorie-free carbonated cola aimed at males, is performing well.

Fourth quarter revenue rose 11% to $5.3bn (£2.7bn) from $4.79bn (2.45bn) the previous year and for the full year, revenue rose 6% to $20.94bn (10.69bn) from $19.8bn (£10.1bn).

Full year net income was $711m (363m), compared with a loss of $1.1bn (£560m) in 2006. The 2006 figures were affected by one-time charges of $1.8bn (£920m), some of which was related to massive “franchise-impairment” costs. Atlanta-based CCE projects growth for 2008 of between 4% and 5%.

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