In Brief

Poor consumer trend continues in Q1 Coca-Cola Hellenic, the world’s second-largest bottler of Coke products, told shareholders yesterday that the poor consumer trend seen in the first quarter continued into April and May. But Doros Constantinou, chief executive of CCH, told the annual meeting the company managed to gain market share in many countries where it operates, despite a challenging environment. The bottler posted a 3 percent rise in sales volume in the first quarter thanks to an Italian acquisition which more than offset lower demand for soft drinks. Recession is hitting consumer spending for soft drinks around the world and weakening foreign currencies are also hitting CCH’s profit. «Despite tough economic conditions in all our markets and falling overall consumption in some of them, we are not losing share,» Constantinou said. «On the contrary, in many of them, our soft drinks share has been improving.» CCH is investing in its brand and has increased prices to cope with the global downturn. (Reuters) Naspers says earnings may rise by 10 percent Naspers Ltd, Africa’s largest media company, said earnings excluding differences caused by accounting standards and one-time items may have risen as much as 10 percent for the year ended March 31. «We expect core headline earnings per share to be between 0 percent and 10 percent higher than the comparable year core headline earnings per share of 1,130 cents,» the Cape Town-based company said in a statement to Johannesburg’s stock exchange yesterday. Naspers considers «core headline earnings an appropriate measure of the sustainable operating performance of the group, as it adjusts for nonrecurring items and accounting standards that have no operational effect,» it said. Including one-time items, earnings per share will be 55 percent to 65 percent higher than the 967 cents of the previous year, mainly because of a nonrecurring accounting profit from selling the pay-television operation in Greece, Naspers said. (Bloomberg) DryShips waiver Greek shipping firm DryShips Inc said it agreed with DnB NOR Bank on waiver terms for an $86 million credit facility that covers two of its dry-bulk vessels. Last month, the company had said it reached an agreement with the bank on the terms of the waiver. DryShips did not disclose specific terms of the waiver. (Reuters) Power problems Greece’s power grid operator said a storm yesterday caused damage to part of its network, resulting in power to some parts of northern Greece being disrupted. Power was disrupted to areas including central and eastern Thessaloniki, the country’s second-biggest city, the operator, Desmie, said in an e-mailed statement yesterday. (Bloomberg) Bond sale Romania’s Finance Ministry sold fewer bonds than it offered at a three-year sale yesterday. The ministry sold 570 million lei ($188 million) in 11.25 percent Treasury notes maturing in October 2012, less than the 750 million lei offered, the country’s Banca Nationala a Romaniei said in an e-mailed statement yesterday. (Bloomberg)