ECONOMY

Surprise loss for Greek Coke bottler

Coca-Cola Hellenic Bottling, the world’s second largest bottler of Coke drinks, reported a surprise one million euros loss on Tuesday, affected by higher commodity prices.

?Increasing commodity prices during our seasonally least significant trading period reduced our profitability for the quarter,? said CEO Doros Constantinou.

?While input costs will remain a challenge throughout the year, we expect trading conditions to improve as we move into our more important summer selling period during the second quarter,? he said.

Profitability was also affected by the timing of Easter – which fell during the second quarter this year but the first last year – during which the consumption of soft drinks traditionally increases.

The company said it expected commodity costs to increase ?by low double digits,? mainly due to world prices for sugar and one of the components in beverage containers.

While the global prices have dipped recently, ?we anticipate the impact on margins to peak in the second

quarter,? it said.

Shares in the company dipped 1.38 percent to 17.85 euros on Tuesday, versus a 1.44 percent advance on the broader market.