Coca-Cola Hellenic Bottling (CCHBC) has had its rating reduced. Citigroup's Smith Barney has downgraded the bottler to "sell" from "hold" on the back of an anticipated slower outlook for growth.

"The slower growth outlook leads to the reduction of our target price to €18 (previously €19)," Smith Barney said in a research note on Friday (18 February), adding that it is reducing its rating to "sell/medium risk" from "hold/medium risk."

"2005 should be a difficult year with raw material price increases hitting results by as much as €55m - €60m - that should put EPS growth at about 4%, the lowest in five years," Smith Barney said. "We reduce our EPS forecasts for 2005 - 2006 by 10% and for 2007 by 5%."

Last week, CCHBC posted a 17% rise in net income for the full year, hitting €272.1m from €231.9m in 2003.