Coca-Cola Enterprises expects innovation to be the driving factor for sales this year. An array of new soft drinks, bottled waters and other beverages will boost sales in 2005, the company's chief executive said yesterday (11 May).

In a presentation to a consumer products conference, CCE chief executive John Alm said: "We are optimistic that we have the strongest innovation calendar in several years." Alm added that the company has particularly high hopes for Diet Coke sweetened with Splenda, which is being rolled out across the US this week.

CCE has also rolled out flavoured versions of its Dasani bottled water and an energy drink called Full Throttle. In April, the company said it would distribute Rockstar, another energy drink.

Following a dip in unit case sales last year, the company is predicting volume growth of 1% this year.

Coupled with the new products being launched, CCE intends to raise drink prices by about 3% in 2005.