Coca-Cola Enterprises profit hit by European weakness

Thu Oct 25, 2012 8:11am EDT

(Reuters) - Coca-Cola Enterprises Inc (CCE.N) reported quarterly earnings on Thursday that beat analysts' estimates, helped by share buybacks, and said the stronger dollar was less of a drag than previously expected.

Economic weakness in Europe still hurt sales.

The company also said it was restructuring parts of its finance and sales operations and will take charges of about $200 million. It did not say how many job cuts would be included in the restructuring.

The bottler of Coca-Cola (KO.N) beverages said net income fell to $263 million, or 89 cents a share, in the third quarter, from $284 million, or 88 cents per share, a year earlier.

Excluding one-time tax-related items, a change in the value of commodity hedges and restructuring charges, earnings were 71 cents a share, compared with the average analyst estimate of 69 cents, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.

Sales fell 3.3 percent to $2.07 billion, hurt by the impact of the stronger dollar. The company does all of its business in Europe, so the strengthening of the U.S. dollar reduces the value of its revenue and profit.

For the year, the company anticipates earnings of $2.20 to $2.24 a share, including an 8 percent hit from the stronger dollar. In July, it said 2012 earnings were pegged at $2.18 to $2.24 per share, including a 10-percentage-point reduction from foreign exchange rates.

(Reporting By Martinne Geller in New York and Brad Dorfman in Chicago; Editing by Maureen Bavdek)

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