Greek Coke bottler 2012 profit drops 12 pct, misses fcast

ATHENS Thu Feb 14, 2013 1:44am EST

ATHENS Feb 14 (Reuters) - Coca-Cola Hellenic (CCH) , the world's No. 2 bottler of Coca-Cola, posted on Thursday a 12 percent drop in 2012 profit due to higher costs and weak demand in its debt-laden European markets.

The Athens-based company with operations in 28 countries from Russia to Nigeria, said profit excluding restructuring and other one-off charges came in at 285 million euros versus analysts' average forecast of 291.5 million euro in a Reuters poll.

The volume of unit cases sold was almost flat year-on-year to 2.08 million. Sales rose 3 percent to 7.05 billion euros, compared with analyst' forecast of 7.03 billion.

The company set a free cash flow target of 1.3 billion euros for the 2013-2015 period. (Reporting by Angeliki Koutantou)

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