Coca-Cola Hellenic's Ukrainian operations add to losses

Coca-Cola HBC, the world’s No 2 bottler of Coca-Cola Co drinks, posted a bigger-than-expected quarterly loss, hurt by currency losses mainly in its Ukrainian operations.

The bottler reported a net loss of 35.8 million euros in the first three months of the year, excluding restructuring and other one-off items, versus analysts’ average forecast of a 17-million-euro loss in a Reuters poll.

The sharp devaluation in the Ukrainian hryvnia against the euro due to political tensions in the country hurt CCHBC’s results and the group warned foreign exchange losses for the full year would be higher than initially expected.

The bottler said currency losses would be around 90-100 million euros this year versus the 51-70 million euros projected in February, but it was taking action including extra cost cutting in Ukraine and Russia to mitigate the impact.

CCHBC reiterated its guidance for free cash flow of about 1.3 billion euros in the 2013-15 period.