ATHENS, June 3 Coca-Cola Hellenic HLBr.AT,
Greece's largest company by market value, dismissed on Friday
local media reports it was planning to move its base outside
In a statement the company said media speculation of a
potential relocation was unfounded.
"Greece is an important market for the group," CCH Chief
Executive Officer Doros Constantinou said in the statement.
"Despite the current difficult operating environment, our key
aim in Greece is to constantly improve our competitiveness and
CCH, the No.2 bottler of Coca-Cola (KO.N) in the world,
distributes drinks including Coke, Sprite and Fanta in 27
European countries and Nigeria. Its headquarters have been in
Greece since 1969 when the bottler started selling its products
in the country.
CCH said last month it was setting up a human resources and
finance administration centre in Bulgaria.
This, along with Greece's plans to tax non-alcoholic drinks
later this year as part of austerity measures, prompted
speculation in Greek media that the bottler could relocate its
base outside the country.
Greece last year imposed a tax on corporate dividends along
with a windfall tax on large companies' annual profits. The
bottler has said the new taxes choke investment and has warned
that an excise tax on beverages may hit its profitability.
Corporate taxes are a sticking point between the ruling
PASOK party and the main conservative opposition, which has
demanded tax cuts and refused last week to approve a new
(Reporting by Angeliki Koutantou; Editing by David Holmes)