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ATHENS Aug 7 Coca-Cola HBC, the world's
No. 2 bottler of Coca-Cola drinks, warned volumes would fall for
the rest of the year, citing a "sudden deterioration" in Russia,
its biggest market.
The bottler, which buys syrup concentrate from Coca-Cola and
then bottles and distributes the U.S. group's drinks in 28
countries in Europe and Nigeria, posted a 6 percent rise in
second-quarter profit to 135 million euros ($181 million) from
127 million euros in the same period a year earlier.
But the company warned difficult economic and trading
conditions had forced it to review its outlook for volumes, and
it expected the trend of declining volumes to continue for the
rest of the year. Volumes fell 3 percent in the first half.
In Russia, volumes fell by a low single digit percentage in
the second quarter, the first decline in 11 quarters. The
company said the escalation of the crisis in Russia and Ukraine
had affected consumer spending in the region.
"The prevailing difficult economic and trading conditions,
the sudden deterioration in Russia ... have led us to review our
volume outlook," the company said.
The sharp devaluation in the Russian rouble and Ukrainian
hryvnia against the euro due to political tensions in Ukraine
damaged CC HBC's results in the first quarter as well.
The group said foreign exchange losses for the full year
would be lower than initially expected, at around 80-90 million
euros in 2014, 10 million euros lower than the range projected
Greece, a significant market in terms of profit, declined by
a low single digit in the second quarter. The company said it
was still cautious, citing record unemployment and falling
household incomes in the country.
The company moved its headquarters to Switzerland from
debt-laden Greece last month and its primary listing to London
to save on taxes and improve access to capital markets.
(1 US dollar = 0.7479 euro)
(Reporting by Karolina Tagaris; Editing by Mark Potter)