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European Coke-bottler shares are spread too thin

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Bottles of Coca-Cola are seen at a store in Montreuil, near Paris, France, February 5, 2018. REUTERS/Regis Duvignau

LONDON, Sept 2 (Reuters Breakingviews) - Coca-Cola’s (KO.N) European distributor is suffering from a lack of liquidity. Coca-Cola Europacific Partners (CCEPC.L) on Thursday said sales rose 54% year-on-year in the second quarter to 3.6 billion euros, compared to the 3.3 billion euros expected by analysts. The $26 billion company is benefitting from the end of lockdowns and out-of-home consumption. And it still has the lion’s share of the gains from its acquisition of Australia’s Coca-Cola Amatil to look forward to next year.

It’s a good result, but you wouldn’t know it. The sales beat barely registered in the company’s shares in Amsterdam, Madrid or London. The stock was down 1.7% in Spain and up 0.5% in the Netherlands. That’s because most of its trading happens in New York. This makes little sense for a European company with revenue predominantly in euros and a narrow 44% free float. Scaling back its listings, to focus most probably on Amsterdam, would boost liquidity and cut costs. (By Dasha Afanasieva)

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Editing by Ed Cropley and Oliver Taslic

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