ECONOMY

Coca-Cola Hellenic to cut costs

Coca-Cola Hellenic, the world’s second-largest bottler of Coke drinks, will focus on cost-cutting measures in a bid to handle the «challenging» operating environment it sees as continuing in the first half of the year. The Athens-based company, present in 28 countries, said it has continued to witness weakness in consumer sentiment, with client purchasing power affected by the difficult economic conditions. «We will therefore continue our focus on identifying cost efficiencies, reducing working capital and further strengthening our market position,» said Doros Constantinou, CEO of CCH in a statement yesterday. «We expect the timing of the economic recovery to vary across our markets.» Just under half of CCH’s business comes from «established» markets, which includes Greece, Ireland, Italy, Switzerland and Austria, while another 37 percent comes from its emerging markets segment. CCH reported a net profit of 437 million euros for 2009, beating analysts’ forecasts of 429.5 million euros, according to a Reuters poll.