Good weather is good for Coca-Cola

Coca-Cola Hellenic Bottling Company (CCHBC) is expected to report a 130 percent rise in first-half net profits as the heat wave in Europe boosts demand for its products. A Reuters poll of 13 analysts produced an average forecast of 38.9 million euros in group net profits. CCHBC is the world’s third-largest bottler of Coca-Cola products. The company reports results according to International Accounting Standards on August 19. «The timing of Catholic Easter in some of the company’s major markets (Italy, Ireland and Eastern Europe), the relatively mild weather conditions and the inclusion of Vasler and Dorna in 2003 should positively affect first-quarter and half-year performance,» National Securities wrote in a research note. Half-year EBITDA is seen rising 11 percent to 322.3 million euros in line with the company’s annual target of 11-13 percent for 2003. Sales are expected to more than double to 1.98 billion euros on a quarterly basis but stay unchanged year-on-year. (Reuters)